It is convention at this time of the year to look back at the highlights and lowlights of the year almost gone and to look forward to the forthcoming year, so here goes.
I am not one for looking backwards other than to search the mental database for a piece of relevant information. However it is good to reflect on what has been successful and to see if we can replicate or better, exceed them.
As for my business year it has been more than satisfactory with my Vistage groups both for CEOs and key executive growing and happily without either losing a member during the tear.
I feel very privileged to be working with wonderful dedicated, determined and compassionate people who have become, if I may say so, not only business contacts but good friends.
The whole concept of the peer group is exemplified by the burgeoning growth of both Vistage Worldwide now in 18 countries and with 20,000 members and particularly Vistage here in the UK where have broken through the 1,000 member mark.
There are three areas I have looked at during 2015. Politically we had the General Election which, despite the forecasts of the pollsters, brought back majority rather than coalition government and that will have a significant impact through to 2020.
World wide there is the appalling situation in the Middle East with more than 1 million migrants enduring dreadful conditions to try to get to Europe and a better, safer life.
Extremism has also been rampant and it is difficult for us in the West both to understand both its raisin d'etre and what can be done about it. There is a total clash of cultures that the extremists are exploiting to their advantage.
The astounding growth in technology has been extraordinary during 2015. Apart from tunes and tweaks on our smart phones and tablets there have been some astonishing advances during the year.
For example the development of reverse-osmosis for water desalination, now up and running in Israel, could eliminate the water shortage and make the desert bloom, in more ways than one.
A new method of growing human brain cells could eliminate dementia and even mental illness in the future and it us now possible to identify DNA in blood test almost instantaneously rather than taking weeks.
I love sport even if advancing age and arthritis makes participation a touch problematical. We have gloried in three wonderful events this year in rugby, cricket and tennis.
Apart from England's rapid demise there was some great rugby; who can forget that game early on when Japan walloped the mighty Springboks.
Tennis being normally an individual sport is always compelling for the gladiatorial aspects but the Davies Cup is another matter altogether. Led by coach Leon Smith and the "incomparable" Andy Murray, Great Britain won for the first time in 79 years
The very best of the year for me however was the way that the England cricket team confounded all the gloom mangers and whacked the mighty Australians to win the Ashes in some extraordinary matches.
Dismissing the Aussies for 60 at Trend Bridge with Stuart Broad taking 8-15? Absolutely glorious!
What then the coming year?
More extremism, more migrants and more uncertainty throughout the world seems inevitable. Whatever our leaders decide, rightly or wrongly, may or may not be effective so it behoves us to be sensible and vigilant at all times.
In business there will be a continuation of the revolution in retailing with faster even one hour delivery services being offered online. The majors will have great difficulty in moving quickly enough to combat or equal that sort of offer and one or more may well disappear during the year.
The remarkable drop in oil prices as well as most commodities will also have a dramatic effect on industry sometimes for good and sometimes not so good.
The onwards and upwards growth in technology will simply continue. I would see that there will be a breakthrough in battery technology that will mean far more efficient electric vehicles will be developed and the autonomous vehicle is very close to commercial reality.
In business I know that the wonderful members of my Vistage groups will continue to prosper and deservedly so. Remember the sport comments above? It is because they bring dedication, hard work and a bloody-minded determination to succeed.
Above all and apart from having a happy, prosperous, peaceful and healthy year, I wish everyone a great year of continuous learning. There is so much to discover out there and we need to learn something new from a new source every day.
The Greek philosopher Socrates said"
"The one true wisdom is to know that you know nothing".
Happy New Year!
You can download my book "Leading to Success" from Amazon
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