Newsletter – January, 2019

On My Mind
Another year has flown by and now many organizations and individuals have new goals they would like to achieve in 2019. I tend to begin each year with high hopes and optimism . . . and then soon thereafter reality appears when unanticipated events occur and unexpected barriers emerge forcing me to re-evaluate my priorities and resource allocations. The easy route would be to set easily attainable goals which would result in apparent success, but not personal satisfaction. Alternatively, I could set unrealistic goals and not achieve anything leading to frustration. Finding the appropriate balance is my aim these days. Best wishes as you strive to achieve your 2019 goals.

Interesting Stories
Colin O’Brady from Portland, Oregon “. . . became the first person to traverse Antarctica alone without any assistance on Wednesday [12/26/2018], trekking across the polar continent in an epic 54-day journey that was previously deemed impossible” according to Amanda Lee Myers of the Associated Press (AP). Journeys like his are inspiring, but loaded with risks. The great British explorer Henry Worsley died in his solo Antarctic attempt in 2016. From the same AP article, O’Brady reflected: “I’m no longer the same person I was when I left on the journey . . .  I’ve suffered, been deathly afraid, cold and alone. I’ve laughed and danced, cried tears of joy and been awestruck with love and inspiration.” British Army Captain Louis Rudd became the second person to make a successful solo unassisted crossing of Antarctica two days later. Maybe I’ll now re-think my 2019 goals!

Company News
I’m excited to announce the next public Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC courses for the Winter/Spring time frame: Strategic Improvement Green Belt starts January 8, 2019; Strategic Improvement Black Belt starts January 15, 2019; Customer Experience Deep Dive will be held January 23, 2019; Basic Statistics & Analytics will be held February 12-13, 2019; Creating High-Performing Work Teams will be held February 26, 2019; Implementing Process Management will be held March 20-21, 2019; Leading Rapid Action Projects will be held April 11-12, 2019; and Strategy Tools for Strategic Improvement will be held April 30, 2019. The brochures for these events are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
Every year at this time I re-read the book Sioux Winter Count: A 131-Year Calendar of Events by Roberta Carkeek Cheney. It helps me reflect on my personal life and business. From the Introduction of the book: “Winter counts were the historical calendars of the Sioux. One part of this great Indian nation lived along the big muddy river, the Missouri [River], that cut its way across Dakota Territory. Their historians kept records of these people on animal skins. The Big Missouri Winter Count is one of the most extensive and best preserved of all these Indian calendars.” Continuing from the Introduction – each year, “. . . an appointed historian [member of the tribe] drew one pictograph with colored dyes on the buffalo or deer skin at the end of each winter season.” If you could draw one pictograph to commemorate the most important event for you in 2018, what would it be?