Are innovations like new year resolutions ?

posted by Ravi Arora July 13, 2015

Let us ponder about the problems with the new year resolutions. To do this, think about the following:

  • How many of us take new-year resolution? Every Year? How many of us are able to fulfill them?

Now let us also think about the commitments we make to attend a social event or a business meeting that is scheduled a few months later?

What is the difference between these two situations? One could think of many differences but let me state the following that I will like to build on further.

  1. The new-year resolution is usually made by a person for something that one wants to do mostly for self and in some rare cases it could be others (family members or friends). On the other hand the promise to attend an event or meeting is not only for himself/herself but also for others.
  2. The new-year resolution is usually not shared with others and if it is shared in some cases, rarely do people remember about the resolution of others. For social events and meetings the host or the chairman expects an assurance of attendance upon invitation and also the actual presence on the day of event
  3. Most often, resolutions are not only difficult but also painful to fulfill (This also is one of the reasons why people take resolutions and enjoy the few moments of pride by sharing with their friends). Social events and many meetings are source of pleasure or satisfaction of achievement. Business meetings, sometimes could be painful but most of this pain is in terms of hard-work that goes in preparing for the meeting. Sometimes the business meetings could be also be psychologically draining

How often do you fail to attend the social events or business meetings that you have committed to? I think it is very very rare.  If you fail, does it embarrass you or do you apologise? But the success rate of resolution is as low as 8%. Does it affect the personal reputation of individuals who fail to meet their resolution?

Let me extend the argument a bit more. What is the difference between your new-year resolution and your annual performance goal? Do you see the same set of differences as explained above?

Are innovations like new-year resolutions? What similarity do you see between the two?

How do we increase our commitment towards our innovations intents/projects and mke them as successful as we are for social events and business meetings. And if we fail to deliver , we feel as apologetic as we feel when we miss to attend a social event?

I invite your views, comments and observations! Some links that you could refer: