Many businesses start their planning for the year ahead around now. I like to take stock of the past year as it slips away and we enter Autumn, to help me as I prepare for the year ahead.

People who work on the land are very busy preparing for the year ahead and in the current economic climate, this is a massive challenge for many. However, I think we should all plan time in our lives for self-development as this can only help with our business development.  The areas I plan to work on go something like this…


I love to learn new things and am an avid reader.  Call it self-help/self-guidance or just plain self-development. I like to think that anything I read, or are recommended to read, will help me learn new skills, new ways of thinking and enrich my knowledge.


I also like to attend events which aim to explore and challenge latest thinking on a variety of business topics. At events, you tend to meet like-minded and new people. We all learn from each other and sharing ideas and experiences is a great way to keep knowledge up to date, relevant and fresh in the mind. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the day to day and not give ourselves enough time to get ‘out of the office’. Making an effort to book on to events well in advance which can provide us with new ideas and challenge the ways we do things,  can only be a good thing in my mind. As Leo Tolstoy once said “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” 

Goal Setting

Everyone needs a plan to be effective at work –  some just do not realise it! Goal setting is needed  to do this – personal and work related. The two are very closely linked and so it is important to set these together and review  regularly. This does not necessarily mean financial. Most businesses set their budgets well in advance of the year ahead. This, of course, is essential to the successful management of any business, however, setting goals and targets for ourselves for the short, medium and long term or in other words daily/weekly/monthly and annually are essential to help achieve those big financial numbers!

We sometimes need help with our own goal setting, whether it is from a manager, coach or mentor.  So, if you don’t have one, I encourage you to find someone who can be the key to unlock your personal development. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t quite achieve what you aspire to do, just review regularly and as you start to understand your own strengths and areas you need to review,  revise and be realistic with your planning! With someone to support you, this can be hugely reassuring and I feel is essential for most people.  Use the SMART method to work your way through your goals and they can then become a reality in a format which is achievable because you set and own them! My goals are currently being set for 2020, however, there is no doubt there will be some tinkering even after they are set.


Feedback and appreciation – goodness how I am continually amazed how this is an under used method of communicating with individuals in business.  I strive to ensure I truly value each member of my team and my colleagues. As a leader, never forget the value of those who work with you – whether they are a part time, casual or a full member of the team. Showing your appreciation regularly or even better, when you understand how often is appropriate for the particular person (as believe it or not, we are all different!) is one of the most important things you can do for that person to feel truly part of the team.

Personal Connection

Each and every one of us is a ‘human being’ not a ‘human resource’.  Take time to get to know each and every person who works for you – what their hobbies are, what their favourite food is – the list is endless.  It just takes a little bit of your time to make that essential ‘personal’ connection. This essential communication gains far more loyalty than any pay rise! Transparency, honesty and trust are further key communication skills to build into any business where there is a desire to develop a truly engaged team. I feel that in a world of increasing technology, we need to be acutely aware of the importance of the personal touch.

Never underestimate the value of one to one human interaction where listening and interpretation of needs is at its most powerful. I shall certainly be aspiring to this mantra in 2020!

Hash tag Resources

And finally, my favourite hash tags to help with planning for 2020….

#customerexperience #culture  #cx #leadership #engagement =  #roi


Judy Randon


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