2017 is Here – Change, Uncertainty… and Growth?

… Happy New Year!

It’s time for our customary message to friends and clients old and new and an opportunity to reflect on one year, and to create the bridge to what the next might hold.

Not surprisingly, grappling with change – and it’s cousins uncertainty, volatility, unpredictability, opportunity and growth – have been themes of our New Year messages for more than 10 years.  At no time has this been more relevant or, if embraced properly, more of an opportunity.

2016 turned out to be the year of the unpredictable, the unthinkable and often the unbelievable – on the macro stage Trump, Brexit, rising nationalism, difficult international relations, a slowdown in China, volatile exchange rates, Syria, ISIS, cyber attacks, relentless digital disruption, to name a few, not to mention the specific dynamics of your industry, categories, markets, circumstances and performance pressures.

In an inextricably connected and increasingly interdependent world, 2017 is likely to serve-up yet more uncertainty.  One thing you can count on though is our New Year collection of timeless but thought-provoking ideas, insights and inspirations for navigating the shifting landscape, so here is our selection for 2017:

  • Voltaire on uncertainty “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position; but certainty is an absurd one”.
  • Warren Buffet on forecasting – “Forecasts tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future”.
  • Kevin Kelly on the future – “Any believable prediction will be wrong.  Any correct prediction will be unbelievable”.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes on direction – “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we’re moving”.
  • Walt Disney on exploration – “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting”.
  • Cynthia Occelli on change and growth – “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction”.
  • John Kotter on getting ready – “Anyone in an environment that is not preparing him or her for a tougher future should move out fast”.
  • Andy Warhol on your role – “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson on taking action – “Don’t be too squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment”.

We look forward to catching-up sometime soon and discussing how great companies can create even greater futures in a changing world.

Our very best for a great year!