Can it really be the end of 2012 already? Typically this is when planning for the upcoming year begins, whether it is as an individual, a manager or an organization. Future planning is a very important activity as is setting goals, gathering resources and making determinations on the best way to get where you want to go in the New Year. Arguably the most important activity for future planning is reflection; how do you know where you want to go if you haven’t looked at where you have been?
Confucius said: “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Reflection is a type of thinking associated with deep thought, aimed at achieving better understanding to make sense of and/or find meaning in experiences. There are various reflection techniques, including:
- taking a step back to get a better perspective (as it can be difficult to reflect when one is caught up in the activity)
- reviewing an event multiple times (to get a broader view of the events and see how things could have been different)
- taking everything in account (using an open mind and balanced judgment when looking at an event)
Reflection involves drawing conclusions in order to change or develop an approach, strategy or activity. This is a crucial step for any business when it comes to future planning. Hopefully the goals and objectives for the current year were written down; now is the perfect time to revisit them and evaluate your progress on those goals. For the goals that may not have been reached, reflection can help determine why they were not reached and help develop a path for achievement. It is quite possible that some of the current year’s goals are no longer applicable as things have a way of constantly changing the workplace. As an individual or as a business entity, reflection is a useful tool for future planning. With that said, we wish you and your business a reflective and progressive New Year.