Happy new year
I don’t know about you, but as we enter a New Year, I like to look back at the significant events and milestones of the past year that challenged us to grow beyond our comfort zone and propel us forward. Certainly the economic climate impacted every company, large and small. And while some felt the weight of struggling to stay afloat with fewer resources, others discovered creative new ways to reach customers and meet their needs with new solutions.

For many of us, 2012 was a year of challenge in how we set our personal and professional goals for measuring success. So how did you do with your goals? Did you meet them? Did you find you needed to adjust your targets along the journey? Those are the questions I most like to focus on as I plan for the year ahead.

The new year has to be more than just another time of transition. Yes, we will continue to see costs and prices increase, and our consumers and customers spending less. But we also need to create at a level beyond what we’ve always known as “normal,” because those days may not come back.

It’s in this new climate of innovation that we will be immersed in the year ahead. Your customers are finding creative new ways to use social media channels to share everything from their political viewpoints to their favorite marketing ideas and consumer insights. Plan on meeting them there and joining in on the conversation.

This social media train will continue to gain momentum, but in these days of rapid technology development other new trends will also be emerging. Be alert for these early opportunities.

Thought leaders and innovation champions within every industry need to explore new ways to stimulate innovation. Start this by adjusting strategies and refocusing on finding the right balance between shorter-term challenges and longer-term growth opportunities. Remember too that as we also look to mitigate problems and find solutions, we need a mindset of success. Don’t get mired in fatigue from operating with a fear of failure.

And above all let’s not forget the most important ideas that our corporate cultures are based on: engagement and trust. If it’s not happening internally with your employees and your teams, it’s not going to happen in your external partnerships, and it surely won’t happen with your customers and consumers.

So in 2013, let’s continue to build a foundation of trust and respect for one another. May the hope of the New Year find you and your families thriving and preparing for the excitement and change that 2013 is sure to bring! Happy New Year!

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