Yet Another Annual Closing
Phew…it’s the end of yet another April which typically marks the annual closing of the financial year in some parts of the world. It’s not only the time to re-start the next financial year but also to reset business and professional plans and goals. Since it is time to take stock, I thought of taking stock of the stock-taking exercise.
The ‘Other’ New Year
However, before we get into the financial year, let’s turn the clock back a little and look at parallels from it’s cousin, the calendar year. The turn of the calendar year is typically associated with New Year Resolutions. In light of their infamous resolutions for being broken, I had written about “Survival Kit For New Year Resolutions”.
The same maladies and principles that apply at an individual level and inhibit the adoption of New Year Resolutions are often aggregated and amplified at the organizational level. This typically leads to the universally dysfunctional cycle of budgeting, planning and control at the time of annual closing. I was reminded of one of these principles from unexpected quarters.
A Disciple of Discipline
To my surprise, it was my daughter who reminded me of one of the cornerstones of my New Year Survival Kit – Discipline. She had gone to visit Mayo College, Ajmer for a few days and came back extremely excited. She penned down a couple of pages about her experiences, mostly narrating her excitement and describing the ‘best days of her life’.
Interestingly this was despite having to leave her phone back home and stay outside the digital world for five days. The clincher, however, was in the last paragraph of her two page memoirs. She only wished that the schools and kids in Delhi were as disciplined as Mayo College.
A "flurry of firsts", an account of my daughter's trip to #MayoCollege full of #fun #friends and #firsts with some life-long #learning.
Special thanks to Lt Gen Sanjay Kulkarni for #transforming #digital to #discipline 🙂https://t.co/StIdm9K7KY @mayoboys @mayocollegelive
— Rajiv Maheshwari (@rajivmah) May 5, 2019
Learning – YA or Nah?
This was an eye-opener, coming from a 12 year old, who is like most of her contemporary YAs (yes, it stands for Young Adults, and no, I am not mixing up my demographics). One would expect them to crave for freedom, but here is the spoiler alert. They do understand the virtues of discipline!
I had written about my experiences of Child being the Father of Man a few times earlier. It is good to see that YAs continue to show the guiding light! In today’s VUCA (volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous) world, you never know where the lessons may come from.
So, let us keep the end in mind and keep learning and evolving, not just every year, but each day.
The Year – An Anachronism?
The VUCA world raises another set of questions. Is the year and associated annual exercises an anachronism in the rapidly changing times? Is a year too long and too dynamic a period to be relevant and meaningful? And, are the focus and concentration cycles of humans long enough to withstand a year in an era of 8-second attention spans?
I had suggested crashing the annual cycle in a progressive manner to monthly and weekly cycles in the Survival Kit and even postulated that it may come down to a daily cycle. The same principles can very well apply to the annual budgeting, planning and control exercises. Needless to add, the frequencies may vary, depending on the nature of the activity.
Surely, if one traverses the virtuous cycle of discipline and commitment within the appropriate time-frame, the individual and organizational goals are within reach. It is high time we take control of the ills that afflict our exercises in futility.
We may not be able to time travel but we must launch a time-bound attack and re-imagine the process. After all, it is not about the end of just another year and annual closing. It is The Endgame and time to bring out your very own superpowers!