New Year, New Beginning

I’ve used this term “New Year, New Beginning” twice in the first three days of the new year. Both instances happened on the 3rd of Jan which was the first day I went back to the workplace. A change from usual practices was that the new year provided me, or rather, forced me to adopt some changes in leadership style from a “maybe I can do this” to a “let’s just do this now” perspective.

The first time I used the term, I did some sort of a review for one of the Enciks in my flight. Without going into too many details and risk the discussion becoming some sort of finger pointing, I did the review as what I thought my ideal worker was for a person of that rank and stature. I tried to make it less of a feedback but a feedforward; a concept which I had learnt recently from a book. Generally speaking, a feedback is one where we took what had happened vs a feedforward where we discuss how we can do things in the future. It is less finger pointing and more consultative in my opinion.

I am not too sure how much it helped, but my own principles tell me that I have got to do something. I have manpower and I need my manpower to work effectively and efficiently. My management role is then to provide the atmosphere and working environment for such a thing to happen and the review was the first step in aligning mindsets between the both of us.

The second time was for another Encik, but it was not much of a review. Rather, it was a nagging session from me to get his email inbox sorted out. To declutter and start anew so that all messages would be read and understood. The action items could then be sorted out into different categories to work on subsequently.

I’m using it for the third time this year for myself to institute some changes into the way my flight operates. In the previous year, we set up a tasking board and implemented a tasking email notification where we will flash out daily. It did not get flashed out daily to my disappointment, and there was confusion because there are two separate boards. I will make changes to how the two functions are used so that it becomes productive and meet the original intent of setting up these two functions in the first place.

I am also going to get my flight to agree on some golden rules for the sake of having better meetings. The rules are (1) Only one person speaks at any one time, (2) Be present in the moment and (3) A promise is honour-bound. The first is to ensure that there will not be other noises to jam up the discussion. The second is to ensure that everyone is focused on what the meeting is about instead of fidgiting about their handphones or sitting with their eyes closed and ears shut. The last is to get people to commit that the deadlines given to them should be respected and deviations from deadline should not be a norm.

I am also restructuring the Start-of-Day-Briefs so that non-involved personnels in specific discussion pointers can be excused to do their own things. In addition, I want to demand for every member of the team to do a general 1-min brief of what he had done in the previous day and raise any potential concerns. That member will then talk about what he will be doing in that day. This allows us to ensure that everyone is focused on what major tasks they are doing and also for us to do allocation/re-allocation of tasks if required. The idea is for everyone to be gainfully employed.

It’s the 5th day into the new year and I am still motivated to see through the changes that I have planned. Hopefully 2014 will be the best year yet for me.

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