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2012 New Year resolutions for CEOs and executives


January 1st, New Year Day, is a chance for proposing changes. The tradition is to make resolutions such as to lose weight or exercise more. Typically they are personal ones made by the individuals, but I have a new twist by making a resolution for CEOs, heads of government agencies and executive teams of all organizations.



Gary Cokins
Gary Cokins
I propose these types of managers enlist in a yoga class. My reasoning is that they need to periodically detach themselves from the hustle and bustle of the flurry of daily distractions and have some solitude and be introspective. I was inspired by this idea by reading a lecture by William Deresiewicz that was delivered to the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October, 2009.

Deresiewicz began his lecture by asking, “What does solitude have to do with leadership? Solitude means being alone, and leadership necessitates the presence of others – the people you’re leading. When we think about leadership in American history we are likely to think of Washington, at the head of an army, or Lincoln, at the head of a nation, or King, at the head of a movement – people with multitudes behind them, looking to them for direction. And when we think of solitude, we are apt to think of Thoreau, a man alone in the woods, keeping a journal and communing with nature in silence.”

Solitude allows one to be alone with your thoughts. Arguably solitude is crucial to carry out the task of leadership. Executives need this, and a yoga class may provide them the chance to deeply consider the lasting improvements and skills their organization will need to for sustained organizational performance improvement. These include exploiting the emerging practices of business analytics and deploying and integrating enterprise performance management methodologies. These include strategy maps, scorecards, dashboards, risk management, activity-based costing, predictive analytics, rolling financial forecasts, and many others.

Sadly, just as New Year resolutions are usually broken, my fear is that executives will not actively adopt these methods, despite their being proven as ways to advance their organizations. So similar to how individuals make a resolution to diet but then indulge in eating sweets and desserts, it will be unfortunate that executives will likely postpone initiating the methods and techniques that can sustain improvement. If they took a yoga class, that forced solitude may provide them the solitude to have the vision of what can be and inspire their workforce.

Gary Cokins, CPIM
(gary.cokins@sas.com; phone: 919-531-2012)
blogs.sas.com/content/cokins

Gary Cokins (Cornell University BS IE/OR, 1971; Northwestern University Kellogg MBA 1974) is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in advanced cost management and enterprise performance and risk management systems. He is a Principal in business consulting involved with analytics-based enterprise performance management solutions with SAS, a global leader in business intelligence and analytics software. He began his career in industry with a Fortune 100 company in CFO and operations roles. He then worked 15 years in consulting with Deloitte, KPMG, and EDS. His two most recent books are Performance Management: Finding the Missing Pieces to Close the Intelligence Gap (ISBN 0-471-57690-5) and Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics (ISBN 978-0-470-44998-1). Mr. Cokins can be contacted at gary.
cokins@sas.com
123 words.

Mercredi 11 Janvier 2012
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