Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Year, New Resolutions

Hi Everyone,

I’ve just gotten into the office post a one day Christmas break. The break over the past few days (we in the Middle East are off on Friday and Saturday, Christmas fell on a Sunday), gave me a chance to reflect on the year gone by and to think about what I want to achieve in the year ahead. During a beautiful early morning walk today I resolved to get into the office today and crystallize some of my thoughts into my resolutions for the coming year once I got to my desk.

Having gotten into the office and done with usual customary conference call, I’m looking at the deluge of Christmas greetings in my Inbox and am strangely conscious of the temptation to put together a greeting hastily and send it out to all of you – my near and dear ones. However, a quick mental debate about the value of such an exercise led me to decide to do something a bit more selfish. In this email, I’ve tried to put together some of my resolutions for the New Year. With all of you aware of my resolutions I guess it will be easier to stay true to them throughout the year.

  1. Fight Procrastination:- Procrastination has always been my greatest enemy. I used to think it was specific to me until I recently met a very successful senior citizen. On speaking to him I realized the price that one pays for Procrastination. Time is our most valuable resource and something which we can never regain. Too much time is spent in debating, reassuring ourselves and post-morteming issues. I resolve to do things within my control immediately. Write that email when I think of it, make that phone call immediately, learn how to do something right now, pay suppliers in advance, plan things ahead. The collective benefit of a global fight on procrastination will make our world a much more efficient and friendly place to be.
  2. Go out, get some sun:- Chats with experienced people are interesting because of the places they’ve seen, people they’ve met. It’s impossible to imagine that a geriatric would in hindsight cherish any moments when he was alone in the office reading email as significant moments in life. I resolve to spend most of my time out of the office. To set up meetings with people and customers, attend conferences, meet people and encourage the people I work with to do the same. In effect this will mean us being proactive about seeing out opportunities instead of waiting for opportunity to knock. I will do this sincerely and without lip service. As part of this policy I will invest in mobile technologies for myself, my staff and execute changes in the way that the office infrastructure is viewed – a transitory resting ground as opposed to an anchor that we own and we expect is our own. Yes. Being sincere about this means using the road as your office and the office is merely a docking station that some of the team members check into once in a while without particular affinity to their desks and chairs.
  3. Be Digital:- As a Technology person, I’ve always thought silently about the colossal waste caused by paper. It’s a scarce commodity and the way the IT community in particular is wasting it can be seen in its worst form at GITEX – our annual trade show in the Middle East. The amount of paper I have already consumed in my 27 years would probably equal a small forest. I resolve that I will no longer use paper – I will not print, carry business cards or authorize the production of physical brochures, whitepapers etc. I will stop buying physical newspapers, magazines or books and I will at the risk of appearing rude and condescending no longer accept business cards or brochures. I will carry a digital business card which I will beam to others mobile phones and soft copies of documents which I can beam to them or else email them via my GPRS connection instantaneously. It is important for us in the IT sector to lead others in embracing technology. It may be a romantic thought but I like to feel that if consumers reject paper en masse it will accelerate the digitization of the world.
  4. Plan more:- While this is closely tied to Procrastination, I felt this had to be a resolution in itself. Planning to me is the exercise that has the highest RoI and yet time and again its something that I tend to do at the last minute. When I see the people I admire they plan well in advance so they can manage the risks before D-day and get the most out of meetings, deals and activities. I resolve to start consciously planning things well in advance. I resolve to also involve all the people important to me in the planning process and not support the last minute way finding that usually takes the charm out of living.

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