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02

Feb

Reflections and predictions. The post(s) in which we talk about the year just been and the year ahead (part 1).

Up until a day or two ago it was the crystal ball time of year. And now it’s February, and already the year is one-twelfth over and taking shape around us at a pace that gets no less alarming with every passing year.

Only a matter of weeks ago we all came in from our deck chairs, well satiated by long days full of cloud-gazing, soul searching and resolution-fixing. We returned to our places of work reinvigorated, contemplative and full of work-related joie de vivre. Our holiday time gave us enough breathing space to consider the big picture, and left us relaxed and insightful enough to see the wood for the trees before we re-entered the proverbial ‘forest’ for another year. Or so the theory goes…

With all this in mind, and following on from yesterday’s thoughts on 2011 from our CEO, Tony Stewart, we thought now would be the perfect time to canvass some of our leaders for their thoughts on the year behind us and their ideas about what the year ahead might hold in store. We do this from time to time.

Here’s part one of two (the insights were so great, and so manifold, that we had to serialise them). Come back tomorrow for the second instalment of predictions and hard-earned pearls of wisdom from some of our esteemed leaders.

Simon Bright, Intergen’s Chief Operating Officer:

What’s the most important thing you personally learned in 2010?

We are only as good as the weakest link. In striving to be good at what we do, we need to bring people along on the journey and develop the skills of our people as we go.  Staying strong to these principles is critical to building a cohesive and high performing team that can set the market benchmark.  Growth attempts to derail these principles simply due to the demands it puts on people in a business. But growth is not an excuse for not paying attention to the professional development of people in a business. 

In your opinion, what’s 2011 going to look like? How is 2011 going to be different from the year just been, and what’s the one thing (if anything) you’ll be doing differently this year?

2011 [hopefully] will be an ‘easier’ year than 2010!

A more stable economy and global operating environment should mean a freeing up of the market. The impact of this is more opportunities for companies to grow and for people to take on new challenges. I suspect we will see a number of senior people move around the New Zealand village following the lock-down period we have experienced over the last 18 months.

The key thing that I intend to do differently is focus on doing a smaller number of things well; this applies to both work and out of work life.

Tim Howell, Intergen’s Marketing Manager:

In your opinion, what’s 2011 going to look like? How is 2011 going to be different from the year just been?

By all accounts, 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year. There’s an increased level of business confidence in the broader market, employers are – by and large – starting to hire again, and aside from disruptions caused by the Rugby World Cup and the New Zealand election, the year should – touch wood – be largely free of economic disruption.

Thinking of disruption, though, this year should prove to be a watershed year in several key technology areas. The advent of tablet computing – popularised by Apple’s iPad in 2010 – is poised to shake up how we all, consumers and businesspeople alike, access and utilise information. Written off by many people as either a toy or a fad, the reality is that people are buying these devices and their expectations of the software they use are being influenced by the apps they download and use every day. Regardless of how organisations feel about these devices, and even the corporate standards that are in place, the groundswell of these devices is growing daily. Apple has led the way here, and with Google Android-based devices coming en masse, the industry is waiting for Microsoft to make its move here – and the clock is ticking for it to do so. Whether Microsoft will have a tablet presence in 2011 is unknown, but it must provide guidance on what its plan is here, else run the risk of being an also-ran in what is becoming a pivotal area of the market.

Continuing the mobility theme, Microsoft released its Windows Phone 7 operating system last year to a positive response from the industry. 2011 needs to be the year that developers embrace this platform so it can compete with the Apple iOS and Android platforms. With a strong development community, and an increasing market footprint, the foundation is there. Quantity versus quality will be the usual debate, and while there are poor applications across all platforms, the typical consumer – if that is, in fact, Windows Phone 7’s audience – will be attracted by platforms featuring thousands of apps. Now’s the time for Microsoft to rev up its development community and increase the volume of apps, and I believe this is what Microsoft will be working hard to do in 2011.

Lastly, cloud computing became a largely mainstream term in 2010 and this theme is set to continue in 2011 and beyond. Look for some subtle changes, though, in how we refer to this amorphous area of the market. Those of us in the IT industry are familiar with the term ‘cloud computing’ and what it means; end users are less familiar. As cloud computing, in whatever form, permeates the hardware and software products we use, look for the term itself to disappear – after all, it’s just a form of computing after all. By the end of 2011, look for the term to gradually evolve into the background as it becomes commonplace across offerings and, effectively, a part of the IT “furniture.”

2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year across the board – let’s all make the most of it.

Laurie Hogg, Intergen’s Strategy Management Officer:

What’s the most important thing you personally learned in 2010?

In 2010 I learned: 

  1. Time is precious, when it’s gone you can’t get it back, to make the most of every minute.  As the saying goes, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  In the words of a quote I read the other day, “procrastination is the thief of time”.
  2. To listen more.  Amazing what you pick up when you actually, really, listen. 
  3.  

In your opinion, what’s 2011 going to look like? How is 2011 going to be different from the year just been, and what’s the one thing (if anything) you’ll be doing differently this year?

A number of people I have spoken to are relieved to let the curtain fall on 2010 – it seems to have been a challenging year for some.  No pressure 2011, but we are expecting good things from you!  It is Intergen’s 10th anniversary this year and it looks set to be bigger and busier than ever.  All the more reason to make the most of every minute… for me, spending more time listening and getting on with the doing.  

Wayne Forgesson, Intergen’s Director Marketing:

What’s the most important thing you personally learned in 2010?

That focusing on your goals and keeping your eye on the ball pays off in the long run. 2010 was a year where we could have easily been distracted by external influences with potentially adverse effects.

What’s 2011 going to look like?

Better than 2010, and by that I mean less focus on all things GFC and more focus on getting back to getting business done. Oh, and later in the year a bit of a focus on all things rugby.

How is 2011 going to be different from the year just been?

We’ve already seen more interest and activity in the market so the year is already busier than 2010. I expect this to continue but in a balanced and measured way. Intergen will continue its international growth.

What’s the one thing (if anything) you’ll be doing differently this year?

I’m going to take more holidays when I can. (Famous last words.)

Posted by: Katy Sweetman, Marketing Director, Empired Group | 02 February 2011

Tags: 2011 predictions


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