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Of lessons learnt and resolutions

Happy New Year! And Happy New Decade!

It has come to that time of the year when we look back at how things have been for us in the past year, see the lessons learnt, the missed opportunities and resolve to do a better job for the coming new year.

To do this, we apply one concept in our strategic thinking programme - Thinking in Time.

When we think in time, we first look at events in the past, and see how we got to where we are. Be it positive or negative, these events shape our current situation, and from there, point us to the way forward. Once we are clear about how we got here, we decide what we want to do to make it towards a positive outcome. In essence, we are looking at the lessons learnt from 2019 and the resolutions for 2020.

Oh by the way... resolutions are usually focused on us being a different person/organisation, and not doing a different thing.

And with that, let's see how these play out for GCA...

Lessons of 2019

Let's start by looking at the significant events that happened over the past year, and to see what lessons we can glean from them.

a. First, take stock of all the positives of 2019.

For GCA, we had quite a number of positives. Key was our collaboration with McDonald's Singapore where we created their leadership development programme for their corporate employees, starting from the Managers / Senior Managers, then to the Consultants / Team Leads, then the Executives / Individual Contributors. In all, we created 24 separate leadership development modules, from strategic thinking to program management, from cross-functional team leadership to negotiation, all within one year! This project pushed our curriculum development capabilities to the max! It is great that we were able to meet all our deadlines. What an achievement! We also re-acquired an old client, who signed up for our strategic thinking programme. This is a brand new curriculum where we sharpened and re-ordered our 8-steps, creating such an impact on learning. Our course feedback had 8 dimensions (not related to the 8 steps!), all on a scale of 1 to 7. For the workshops we conducted for this client, all 8 dimensions scored above 6! This was a consistent score throughout the different workshops; which shows the impact of our programme on their learning. A nice positive!

b. Next, we look at the negative events.

One key event is our inability to reach an agreement with our assessment vendor. As some of you know, we had a growth mindset assessment that we applied to identify who has a growth mindset or not. The backend tool was good; and we applied this throughout the last 3 years. However, we were not able to enter into a new agreement for 2020. This underscores what we teach in our negotiation program - if you have to concede more than you receive, and if the discussion seems to be one-sided, win-lose (where you are on the losing end), then the best option is to walk away.

Another negative event - which is not really negative for GCA but an interesting lesson learnt here - is the hiring for our new Business Executive. After posting the advertisement for this position on social media, we received 10 applications. Now, because the role is a very flexible, home-based position, and where KPIs are co-created between the Founder and the employee, and which are not sales quota-based, the salary range was between $2.9K and $3.8K. It is not really very high, but at the same time, not low as well. But of the 10 applicants, nine of them started out by asking if the salary was negotiable, even before we could fully explain the construct of the role. Only one person came to the interview not focused on the money, but on how she could add value, and how she could contribute to the business. No prizes as to who finally got the job.