Happy 1Q 2010 : What the Next Three Months Will Bring You

Happy First Quarter, Calendar 2010.

That’s right,  never mind the “Happy New Year,” or the correct-in-spirit-but-technically-incorrect “Happy New Decade” stuff.  We’re taking it three months at a time right now.

What’s the forecast for Q1 2010, and how will it compare with the same period in 2009?  Well, one indicator for me is in the conversations I’m having with current and prospective clients on the subject of Talent Development. Compared to last year, things are looking much, much better.

Q1 2009 began as a straight-line continuation of Q4 2008, a prolonged hangover of fear and paralysis, a morbid attitude of “let’s-wait-and-see-what-happens.”  Between November 2008 and February 2009, I got a first-hand observation of the self-reinforcing cycle of inaction — both on an organizational and an individual level — which led to the drying up of markets and the loss of jobs.  Many of the individuals I spoke to during that period are now working somewhere else, or still looking for jobs. However, even at that time there were some bright spots:  Certain clients took advantage of the downturn to re-invest in themselves and their capabilities, buy-out competitors, and so forth.  Those are the ones coming out on top of this economic cycle as leaders.

Now, twelve months later, and thanks in part to those leaders, the rest of the pack seems to be ready to do business again. Budgets are defrosting, projects are coming back online, and companies are once more interested in talking about new talent development ideas.  People are recognizing that the risk of NOT taking some action, the risk of NOT investing at all, is often the worst among available options.  “Wait and see” is over, and is now becoming “move it or lose it.”  “Hide” is giving way “seek.”

What does all of this have to do with you?

Enter Paul Krugman.

Last weekend, Paul Krugman wrote an eloquent New York Times Op-Ed piece called ‘The Big Zero” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1) where set out to show how the last ten years didn’t amount to much at all, economically for Americans.  I enjoy Krugman’s writing in general and don’t dispute this particular analysis, but I do disagree with the notion that the past decade was a complete wash.

Forget numbers for a moment. If you are an American, forget for a moment about the inflation-adjusted value of your current salary, bank account, stock holdings or real estate, compared to 1999.  Think about this instead:  What did you know back in 1999, compared to now?  What new or improved skills and tools do you have now, that you didn’t have back then? If you run an organization, how has your overall talent and productivity improved? Make a list, and hopefully you’ll see that in the last ten years you’ve made tremendous strides.

Now, it’s hard to say what the next ten years will bring, and least of all, what you’ll be learning during that time.  But if you bring your horizon down to the next three months — between now and the end of March, you have an opportunity to make a powerful “New Year’s Action List,” which will see you coming out on top in 2010, 2011, 2020 and beyond.  To make this list, simply answer two questions:

  • How will you maximize the results your can achieve from your current talent, in the next three months?
  • What investments will you be making to improve your talent, in the next three months?

Happy Q1 2010… and have fun making, and acting on, that list!


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on January 1, 2010, in Business, Career, Learning, Sales, Talent and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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