The past year has seen momentous changes to Britain's economy. The global recession has led to a record 5.6% decline in the UK's GDP, our banking industry has largely been bailed out by the government and taxpayers, and the number of people in employment fell by 0.9% in the quarter to May, the largest quarterly fall since records began in 1971.
Yet the British economy is still worth over $2 trillion and forecasters believe that it will return to growth in the coming year. The next 12 months may be just as dynamic as the previous year, but there should be more opportunities for growth.
With that in mind, your summer vacation is a good time to reflect on where you are now and what you are aiming to achieve in the months ahead. So whether you're by a pool, in a tent or even taking a break from some DIY, why not develop some responses to these questions?
- What demonstrable improvements in your capabilities have you achieved since last summer, and where are you treading water or going backwards?
- Where could you best use your strengths to help your organisation achieve one of its key objectives?
- What lower priority activities can you either stop doing or significantly reduce your time investment, in order to improve your overall productivity and effectiveness?
- How clear are your team's goals and priorities, and does everyone know what success looks like?
- Are all the members of your team playing to their strengths, with clear and stretching individual objectives?
- How would you rate your team's overall effectiveness and what barriers to better performance does it face?
- What are your team's big frustrations with other departments and what specific improvements could you help make or instigate to resolve them?
- How could you and your team improve the results of other teams and departments across your business?
- What opportunities exist for better ongoing collaboration with other departments?
- What can you do to spend more time with your customers (internal and external), observing how they use your products or services and identifying new needs and opportunities?
- How can you and your team get more feedback from your customers to improve the value you deliver?
- What can you, your team and your organisation do to create stronger relationships with your customers, increasing their loyalty and their likelihood to recommend you to others?