....before we take a break with still far too much to do between now and next Monday.
It always surprises me that although we book our annual leave 10 - 12 months in advance we always get to the time we leave with so much to do. I haven't even looked at where we might go after arriving at Heathrow this year other than vaguely glancing at some possible hotels and locations for perhaps a total of a couple of hours. Perhaps planning is best done this way, none at all, as we always have a very enjoyable time. I wish 'business' planning could be done with such a lack of effort yet achieve similarly enjoyable results.
In the remaining four 'working days' we have to fit in two meetings with major suppliers, a board meeting to not only cover the usual topics but to approve the Australian and Sri Lankan companies business plans and attend Exetel's end of financial year party.......as well as finalising the 'launch' of the new fibre services in NSW, VIC and Tasmania and settle the sales and corporate support 'structure' of the Australian company for FY2011 which has not yet been completed. I seldom/never 'get sick' but I have picked up some bug which makes the prospect of attempting to complete the myriad tasks involved in this workload extremely unappealing and it took a considerable effort to even get out of bed this morning let alone begin working on what needs to be done.
Perhaps there are more interesting things in prospect (a holiday) and it makes the day to day problems and issues of daily working life increasingly tedious as the time between dealing with other people's and your own problems and the 'freedom' of varying your days according to your then current whims get closer. I think it's also the reminder that as you reach the end of one financial year you are already completing the planning for the next financial year which I have done too many times in my life and it is way past time for me to have stopped doing these incredibly difficult tasks. Apart from anything else they are now quite complex and require more knowledge than I have manged to acquire and retain over the years.
We have 'framed' a very conservative overall plan for Exetel for the coming twelve months and, for the first time, planned for reductions in some parts of our business that have been key aspects of our activities since we started the company. We have planned for continued overall month on month growth, albeit at a slower rate than any year so far, but in different areas than in the past years. We have also left considerable leeway to make more changes should FY2011 continue the trends so evident over the past twelve months. Perhaps it's that we have made so many changes to our aspirations for the coming three years that has made me feel this way - I can't overcome the view that we have wasted so much time and so many opportunities without getting any real 'pay back' over the past six years. I don't mean in monetary terms, we have never had any interest in pursuing money, but in terms of doing more and for more people than we have been able to do.
One of the key things we must do in early rather than late FY2011 is to find better ways of 'pushing' our products and services in to new marketplaces and find either within the company or from outside the company the right people to do that. My current view is that Exetel's 'width' of product offerings has grown beyond the sensible 'vision' of our current methods (there simply isn't enough time in the day for our old methods to continue to work) and that situation is not making the most of what we could do with more dedicated time and imagination.
Then again perhaps it's just the flu, ill health and general tiredness which will all, or almost all, be fixed by a couple of weeks in rural England or dreamy Brittany....perhaps even Tuscany?