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Edition 202 – Unfiltered

Most family businesses will wrap up this coming Friday for the well deserved Christmas break. It’s been a long year for a lot of people. Changing economic conditions. Low interest rates. Confounding election results. An increased conversation around climate. Head space in the family business space has been crammed with a lot of stuff. Most people are ready to pull up stumps and get away.

Over the next few weeks, our bodies will do remarkable things. We’ll sleep more, eat more, drink more and switch off more. The beauty of Christmas in Australia is it is a fabulous opportunity, in the middle of summer, to do nothing, when the weather outside is warm and we turn our attention to the beach.

In the middle of switching off, rather than thinking about reviewing the past year, assessing the wins and losses and pontificating over “what could have been”, why not look completely to the future?

Let your mind think not of 2019 and what has been, but of 2020 and what could be. Grab a coffee, or something cooler, take no more than 30 minutes and be unfiltered in your thoughts. Challenge yourself to consider:

  1. What is something we’ve never done in our family business and should just give a shot at anyway?
  2. If we grew our business by 50% in 2020, what would it look like?
  3. If we wanted to turn our industry upside down, what impact would that have on our business?
  4. What skills and attitudes do we need from the people that work, and are looking to work, in our family business?
  5. What does our ideal employee look like in 2020?
  6. What “out there” marketing could we engage in that would blow our customers and competition away?

Write the first thing that comes into your head, and the second and third, without filtering it. Don’t stop and question yourself, your capabilities, your current business model or the economy. Merely allow your mind to be creative, like it was when we were 9 years old, playing in our backyards.

Filtering our thoughts is the enemy of great ideas. Take the time, whilst you have the time, to let your mind wander and come up with ideas that could change your family business, or potentially, the world.

What this process will allow you to do is to wipe the slate clean over 2019, and look at 2020 through different eyes and a different mindset. You can’t change the past – history has already been written. However, you can definitely create the future.

From my family to yours, we wish you the very best of joy, happiness, celebration and time together through Christmas 2019 and look forward to joining you again in 2020!