New Year's Resolutions aren't just for people. Organizations can - and should - make them too.



Research suggests that roughly half of American adults make New Year's resolutions, and they're smart to do so; making a resolution at the start of a new year is ten times more effective than making it at other times. Organizations can learn from what makes a personal resolution work, and maximize their effectiveness with these three key aspects:


First, make your resolutions public. Studies show that people who announce their intentions to change are significantly more likely to follow through because they then have to live up to other people's expectations. Not only will announcing your resolutions company-wide make you more accountable, but it will help get buy-in from your employees, who likely will be able to contribute to your goals.


Second, rhythms matter. That's part of the lure of the New Year; it's a set time to reflect on your previous year's promises, how well you succeeded, and where you want to be in another 12 months. While most people focus on individual goals, the most successful leaders take the time to make resolutions for their organizations as well. Now is a good time to take stock of where you want your company to go over the next five or even ten years.


Third, use resolutions as an opportunity to "connect with your ideal self," as Stanford professor Kelly McGonigal suggests in The Willpower Instinct. New Year's resolutions for self improvement offer an opportunity to reflect on who you really want to be, and invest in that goal. In this case, "your ideal self" doesn't have to mean you individually, but rather your organization's ideal culture, competencies, and more.

Of course, setting organizational resolutions are even trickier than self-resolutions, because they require the cooperation and work of teams of people. Not sure where to start? Collecting feedback from your employees - often an overlooked but valuable asset - can help define both strengths and weaknesses and guide your change decisions.


Need help setting and maintaining your organization goals? Email us for more information.