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Thanksgiving is over and a New Year is Approaching

Thanksgiving is over and we are head-on into the Holiday Season. Before you get caught up in the gifts, the carols, and the parties let’s take a few minutes to think about the new year that is closely approaching.

Many of us make new year’s resolutions to get organized, lose weight, exercise more, etc. All of these are great but what about work? Are there some resolutions for your department? Whether it is the accounting department or the IT department we all have habits or informal processes that could be better and should be documented.lores_envelope_red_satin_bow_gift_ah

I know the Naysayers are warming up with comments like “no one keeps resolutions” or “I’ll try but no one else will hold up their end and it will all be a waste of time.” Don’t let that stop you. Be firm to your convictions and make those needed changes. Be positive and encouraging to others so they will want to keep up with the changes. Sell the benefits to the change so people will understand why they are being asked to do things differently.

Here are some ideas of changes that may be worthy of consideration:

Tackle tough jobs well before their due date. No one likes to update policies but get them done a month before you need to and the enjoyment of the accomplishment will out-weigh the drudgery of putting them together.

Organize and stay organized. It feels so good to have your desk cleared and all your papers in neat piles. What about your computer files? Take some time to clean up the folders (and your desktop) in an organized manner and commit to keeping them where they belong. I have a rule in my workshop that I never leave with tools piled on the bench. When I go into the shop to start on something and everything is in its place, I realize how those few minutes I spent before I left the last time have made this time so much better.

Meet with people in other departments regularly. Make it a point to discuss other departments’ needs and ideas. They may have already figured out a way to do something that you have been working on. Or you could be their hero by making a quick fix that they have struggled with for a long time. Remember, we are all rowing the same boat. If you can help another person row better, you will both get there faster!

I am sure you can think of a few resolutions for your department that could make life better.  Get others’ buy-in and roll them out.  At least no one can blame you of not trying to make things better.

I am sure that this will not be the last time you see advice on new year’s resolutions. But the sooner you start planning for a great new year, the more likely you will have it.


Throughout his time at YHB Curtis has provided IT audit and consulting to clients, even while holding the position of the firm’s IT director for several years. Now, as head of the YHB Risk Advisory Services Team, Curtis focuses on assisting organizations in a variety of industries with internal audits and IT-related audit and consulting services. Also, he frequently speaks and gives presentations on SOX compliance, internal controls, and data security.

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