Moreton on... the season of goodwill

Autumn might mean hibernation to some, but it is also the time to review your business, says Guy Moreton.

Happy New Year! Has the man gone mad, I hear you ask? Well, quite possibly. That was also my reaction when a business associate of ours came bounding in to the office last week declaring a hearty "Happy New Year" to all and sundry.

Encountering puzzled looks and an awkward silence, he quickly went on to explain that for him, after the summer lull, the autumn is actually the start of the new business year and should be celebrated as such.

It's also the time of the year that a lot of people return to work, having spent the summer holidays contemplating their futures. Owners and directors of companies have been lying on their sun-beds thinking about the future of their businesses and employees have been thinking about their careers - and maybe, for some, planning their escape route from a company.

Therefore, it's safe to assume that an awful lot of people enter the autumn with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for their job, their career or their business and are looking to make concerted efforts to achieve something positive - and, let's be honest, the past 12 months have been pretty dire for lots of people.

The mood of the nation hasn't exactly been upbeat and so perhaps now - with some positive notes trickling out through the media and a summer that has seen the stock market bounce back with a degree of vigour that no one seems to have anticipated - it really does seem a good time to think about making some "business" new year resolutions.

A few months ago I mentioned "green shoots" - which is a potential banana-skin comment for anyone - but our experience over the past four months has been largely positive, with a much more buoyant outlook also shaping up for the months ahead.

And, while we certainly aren't back to where we all want to be, one thing that we don't want to do is to leave any room for unwarranted negative sentiment to creep back.

So perhaps my friend is not quite as daft as I thought. Anything that keeps the mood upbeat has got my vote - so a happy new "business" year to you all.

Guy Moreton is director of MorePeople


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