Look Back? Look Ahead?

Nine months back – when I wrote that last post – if I’d known that the remainder of the year would … well … surprise me, I might have held off writing it for a few months. From the second quarter onwards, 2016 has been very different.

  • The year opened with a new client, and closed with another one. Along the way, I added six more. All of this, in addition to existing assignments and commitments. This has never happened before. Five of those new clients will likely be on-going or long-term assignments. So far, so good.
  • Two clients defaulted on payments, and I spent far more time following up and collecting than I would have liked. I’ve tightened up my vetting and due-diligence accordingly.
  • One client changed the scope of assignment significantly, after commissioning it. I was left with the unenviable task of dismantling the team I had put together, and absorbing some cost. Contract and fine-tooth comb now sit side-by-side in my mind.
  • I executed projects in the areas of organisational culture change and marketing of education. Both were firsts and a very rewarding learning experience. Thanks for the trust and opportunity.
  • I had worked for close to three years on converting two of the new clients I added this year. Perseverance, persistence, patience always pay back. In spades.
  • A person with whom I had shared assignments for the past three years, suddenly decided to go it alone. This was something I realised from the client, and not the individual! Very unpleasant! That’s another one for contract and fine-tooth comb.
  • I rediscovered the joy and satisfaction of mentoring young talent. Their eagerness to learn and readiness to question everything is a great tonic.

Yes, 2016 has been a mixed bag in every sense of the phrase. Now, armed with the experience of the past nine months, I’ve understood the full meaning of “it is what it is”. That success or failure, prosperity or doom, happiness or despair, growth or decline is what I make of it. It’s that simple, really.

Reflections be dammed. That’s for mirrors. I’m for looking ahead. I’ve no idea if 2017 will be happy, successful or prosperous. I do know, however, that it will be different. In fact, I hope it will be different. And I plan to thrive on it.

And that’s what I wish for you – I hope your 2017 is different. And that you thrive on that difference.

All the best!




  1. A very well thought out and written piece.
    Thank you kindly.

    • Thanks Bala. Do come back and tell me what you think, from time to time. Regards.

  2. Hi Sam, smart and ironic. As always :-))

    • Thanks Martin. Coming from you, that’s high praise, indeed.


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