2017 business resolutions from some of Madison’s top execs

New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be broken. We offer tips for keeping your business resolutions, alongside the resolutions of our Execs of the Year.

If there’s one truth to New Year’s resolutions, it’s that they’re often broken. Maybe that’s not such a big deal if your resolution is to cut back on coffee (who would want to do that?) but backtracking on a resolution to lose weight or quit smoking could have more serious implications.

The same goes for business resolutions. Not making necessary improvements to your operation because of the time or money it might take could set business back years — or drive you out of business completely.

However, there are some easy steps to take to stick to your resolution in 2017 — or at least give yourself and your business a fighting chance:

  • Focus on one thing. In business as in life, you can’t fix everything at once. Pick one area in which you think your business can make the greatest strides in 2017 and prioritize that.
  • Involve your staff. What’s worse than letting yourself down? Letting down others. By involving your staff in the planning and implementation of any business changes you resolve to make, you’re ensuring everyone’s not only invested in the business’ success, but also that you have support if (when) problems arise.
  • Don’t hold back. Once you’ve planned for your changes, go at it 100%. That doesn’t mean you have to accomplish your goal right away. After all, you don’t resolve to run a marathon and then start your training with a 26-mile run. However, if what it takes to achieve your business goal means adding staff or making investments of time and money in new technology, do so. The short-term pain should be worth the gain.
  • Accept failure. Setbacks are a part of business and life. You can’t control every situation, but you can control how you react. Perseverance is the key to success.
  • Reward yourself and your staff. Even if things are going well, motivation can wane when business changes take time to implement. Celebrate the successes, no matter how small. They’re all steps in the right direction.

IB recently asked our 2017 Executive of the Year award winners for their business and personal resolutions for the New Year. These are some of their answers.

Mark Bakken, founder and managing partner, HealthX Ventures

  • Business: I will be helping get a health care-focused startup accelerator and coworking place established in Madison.
  • Personal: I want to run a marathon.

Michael Launder, executive vice president of finance, MIG Commercial Real Estate

  • Business: To impart as much knowledge and wisdom to my successor as I possibly can.
  • Personal: To try not to sweat the small stuff.

Steve Peotter, president and CEO, Oregon Community Bank

  • Business: Business resolutions can be a difficult proposition. Many times, a new year’s resolution from a business perspective is a commitment to do something differently than that business has done in the past. In the world of Oregon Community Bank and Waunakee Community Bank, our resolution is to continue to deliver the three commitments that we make every day — Serve our Clients, Support our Colleagues, and Invest in our Communities.
  • Personal: Our family has recently embraced the highly impactful sport of Ping-Pong. My resolution for 2017 is to always say “yes” whenever one our three kids (ages 13, 11, and 7) ask me to play Ping-Pong with them. Thanks to this resolution, I’m hopeful there will be a scholarship to a D-1 university for a ping pong-playing Peotter somewhere in the future.

Jim Tubbs, president and CEO, State Bank of Cross Plains

  • Business: We have just completed a brand new strategic plan with our directors and senior management. The resolution would be to effectively communicate and execute this new plan. Another one would be to continue to work on being the best and most effective leader I can be.
  • Personal: Have a sound balance between family and work, as well as continue a sound exercise regimen.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.