5 New Year’s Resolutions for Tech Leaders to Drive Success in 2021
Thanksgiving is over, and no sooner than it was did we start stringing up the lights, tune the radio to a festive station, and start browsing gifts for our loved ones. Christmas is coming right up, ringing in a concluding note to a challenging year. We’re not going to lie, there were a lot of downs this year, but it’s a testament to our drive for improvement and resiliency that we’re here today. 2020 is a year to remember, but it’s just about time to start focusing on what’s ahead: the new year.
Once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, it’s a whole new ballgame. 2020 may have been a slog for most of us, but that doesn’t change the fact that a new year means new possibilities. It’s a time for change, reflection, and an opportunity to do things differently over the course of the next 12 months. Trials and hardships are a drag when you’re mired in them, but coming out the other end provides you with insight and wisdom you never would have gained without being tested.
2021 brings hope. The new year signals the possibility of transformation and growth, despite how 2020 treated us. The past year has given tech leaders across the globe valuable lessons that will help them evolve and cater to new market needs, while achieving growth through this new way of living. 2020 was a year of upsets, innovation, revolutions in taken-for-granted business practices that seem to no longer bear the same weight they used to.
Given what we’ve experienced and learned, New Year’s Day is as good a time as any to establish some new resolutions for the year. Nothing like calling your grandparents more, going on that diet you know you need, or finally breaking that old exercise bike out of storage and seeing if it still works. These resolutions are about how you’re going to approach your business in the coming year, how you’ll change your model and practices to benefit your company.
These aren’t promises that you know you won’t keep in a month’s time. What you decide here will affect the outcome of years of work, fundamentally shifting the dynamic of your company’s culture, model, and growth strategies. Suffice it to say, these resolutions are a little more intense than the banal empty promises to try being vegetarian and eat better. We all know that’s not going to happen.
1. Embrace Strategy Evolution
No one thought that we’d be hit with a quarantine when January rolled around. News of the coronavirus was on the horizon, but it was a far cry from the world-changing pandemic we’ve grown accustomed to. Having to adapt as a culture to these extreme conditions went against the familiar, our identity, and was a shock that has had a resounding message: nothing is set in stone.
Change is inevitable, we know that better than ever now. However, just because it’s an unstoppable force doesn't mean that we have to be an immovable object. Change, however distressing and uncomfortable it might be, is necessary and good. When change is approached with the right attitude, intention, and respect, it’s positive.
Whether it’s our end users’ needs changing constantly and sometimes dramatically, or our processes in order to fit those new market needs, or simply shifting the way the business operates as a whole in order to survive due to restrictions, change is more than just keeping up. It can be a driver of growth. Any major event within the last century is an example of that.
2. Make Trust a Priority
The amount of collective trust contained within the U.S. over the course of the last four years has been degrading. 2016 marked the beginning of an era possessed by myopic political exchanges, unfair use of personal data, fake news, and situations that have damaged technology and tech companies’ reputation across many industries. Users are looking over their shoulders, and who can blame them for doing so?
Reclaiming the trust that your end users used to place in you should be one of the top goals of the new year. This can be applied to every stakeholder that has any investment, whether it’s money, time, or assets, in your company: clients, employees, partners, environment, customers, and so on. A business that isn’t built on trust is built on sand, and sooner or later it’ll fall out from under you.
Really, you need to step up to the plate and take your reconciliation efforts to the next level. Truth be told, there’s a 99% probability that your company has done nothing but honest business working with your audience. Most lost trust has been collateral damage from other neighboring companies misdoings, and while it’s unfair that your reputation might be unfortunately affected, it’s all the more reason to redouble your efforts.
You have to prove your brand, your digital innovation project, and so on can be trusted as a necessity by being transparent during all processes with the different end users. People feel reassured when they can see behind the curtain, even if it might not all make sense to them. Creating that visibility is a show of trust, reliability, professionalism, and good intentions.
3. Improve Communication with Your Team
Take a moment to formulate an image in your mind. Imagine what your company would be like without your team. How different would it be? How much would be changed? Most importantly, how much would be lost? For all the gears and machinations that keep your business running, the most important part of it is the team that makes it all happen.
You may already have excellent communication with your team, constantly keeping them updated and apprised of changes in your organizational hierarchy. But, let’s be honest, there’s always something more that can be done. As a leader, you should resolve to dramatically improve the communication with your team so every member can do their best while feeling connected with you and one another in the process.
A leader’s position is to enable their team members to go above and beyond your expectations of them. Setting a high bar is essentially setting a fair acknowledgment of standard productivity rates your team should exhibit. Once that bar is set, however, it’s your job to help them vault over it. In the current state of working conditions, the need to address those communication needs is all the more vital.
As distributed and remote work continues to be a reality in at least the near future, you must focus on keeping your team integrated in order to obtain the best results. Communication can deteriorate when your team is scattered, so keep your lines of communication open. Check in with your team members, encourage them, find ways to individually assist your team members in ways that resonate with them.
As we’re moving rapidly to artificial intelligence powered tools and platforms, we’re about to see the effects on employee productivity and, exponentially, how this pushes business growth. It’s an exciting time, especially since these innovative technologies are perfectly timed to correlate with remote teams working from home. Providing the resources to facilitate productivity is an essential part of attending to your team’s needs and wants.
4. Upskill, Increase Your Knowledge
Has there been any year in recent memory where you didn’t dedicate yourself to learning something new? The access we have to knowledge in the modern age eclipses anything that’s ever been available in history, meaning there’s very little excuse for not pursuing greater means of education on your own time. That can range from learning how to bake to understanding how to effectively reorganize your infrastructure for proper optimization. So long as you’re dedicated to improving yourself, you’re on the right track.
Constant education should be a constant goal for every year, and 2021 is no exception. As a CIO, CTO, or tech leader, part of your responsibilities is to communicate technology related situations within your company, and technology changes constantly. Make learning all that’s new in your sector part of your daily routine, because chances are there’s some brand new innovative headliner waiting just around the corner. Strive to be a self-made expert.
Also, as a leader, improving people skills is a must. Inspiring others to get behind your vision and goals is a big step towards achieving success and thus helping the business grow. If you share your love of learning, inspire, and are emphatic towards your employees, that can only ensure success. Charisma isn’t innate, it’s a learned practice that you devote time and study toward.
5. Align to CEO and Business Goals
Take stock of what the people around you are focused on for the coming year. What’s your CEO looking at? What about your board members? 2021 should be a time to unify those collective focuses into a singular aligned vision. In the end, technology should support those goals and the promises made to different stakeholders. Therefore, IT metrics should be aligned and tied to global goals.
Committing to a New Year’s resolution isn’t easy. Who knows how many times we’ve resolved to make a monumental change to our lives at the start of the year only for it to immediately be brushed to the side? The difference between those types of resolutions and the ones we’ve detailed in this article is based on the degrees of their importance. If you stick with eating more vegetables, you may feel a little healthier, but the changes aren’t significant. Following through on these business resolutions, however, have long-term impact.
You could implement these changes at any time. The New Year just happens to be a culturally relevant period to do it. Get with tradition and make meaningful change in your company. These New Year’s resolutions are aimed at helping CIOs, CTOs, and tech leaders propel their business growth through the use of technology.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the SMART goal approach: creating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals in order to carry them out until the end and not giving up early in 2021.
Even with ambitious business resolutions, you have to be reasonable.
iTexico, an Improving company, is ready and available to help you achieve any 2021 goal through digital innovation in the fields of software engineering, QA, cloud, AI, and mobile development. Our highly skilled professional engineers, developers, and technicians possess the deep industry knowledge and expertise needed to bring out your company’s potential. Visit our contact page to learn more about what we can do for you.