Back to work / school; is this the REAL New Year?

The first week in September always feels more like the 'new year' than January 1st to me.  It must be the academic year influence I suppose; obviously I went through that myself, and have a daughter now at university.  But my parents were both teachers, so perhaps growing up that made it feel more strongly this was the most significant beginning of the year.

From a business point of view, it also feels like that.  We often seem to stagger somewhat exhausted into the summer holidays, crash out , then hope to come back refreshed and raring to go.  (We don't tend to have summer holidays away, but just having less traffic and people around when commuting is a bonus and relaxing I find!)

Then, once we hit September, you have a good solid 3 months plus to get stuck into new projects before Christmas intervenes; time to make things happen and move things forward, without worrying about school or bank holidays taking too many key staff out, getting snowed in (we hope), or too many other distractions.  So it is a good time to think about those personal or business  plans; far more appropriate than making resolutions in the dank, dark, post-celebration, over-indulged days of late December.

And personally, the next three months should be exciting and busy if some current plans come off (although I don't expect to be doing much central government consultancy!)

So to support this concept, I'm going to be thinking this week about what procurement folk might like to consider as 'new year' resolutions.   Where would it be worth devoting some time, energy and focus between now and Christmas?  To  get things going, I've been looking at what might be the big issues emerging over the next few months; the key external factors that might influence our thinking on those 'resolutions'.  Here are a few:

  • Double dip or smooth climb?  We should know over the next few months whether we are sinking back into recession or continuing the slow climb to recovery
  • Public sector cuts; in the UK (and elsewhere) we will get a clearer idea of just what impact government spending cuts are likely to have on us, whether we are taxpayers, suppliers to government or public sector workers
  • Global commodity issues; frankly, the health of the UK economy has little relevance to the global situation in terms of rare metals, oil or basic foodstuffs.  How will markets behave and what will be the next crisis or opportunity?
  • And finally...the Ryder Cup.  Who will have the bragging rights; a key issue for anyone working in Europe or the US with friends or colleagues the other side of the pond!

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