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HAPPY 2018! Again?

By Manu Henrard on 17/01/2019

2019! This is it - a new year to come! Or not… Think about it: What is it about your first steps in 2019 that make it so different from last year?

There is something interesting behind the concept of “new year” in organizations: a common belief that because it is new, there should be something big ending and something big opening.

Honestly, I can’t say what is truly over in 2018 and what is new in 2019 but for sure, what remains the same is our attachment to some powerful stories. We still see a company as ”a business organization that makes money by selling goods or services” (Collins definition), we still see nature as ”...plants, animals, landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans...” (Oxford dictionary), and corporate leaders still proclaim their employees to be their “most important resource that needs to be empowered and developed.”

2019 can indeed be a new year. Or it can be a weak repetition of 2018. And this will depend on each of us.


There is a shared meaning behind each word, a “story”, created by humans to facilitate the collaboration between people. But we tend to forget that as long as leaders remain attached to their stories, things will stay the same.

If they want to change the world and have a "happier" 2019,

  • leaders need to change the stories they tell themselves, and
  • leaders need to learn to act under these new stories.

Imagine these are the definitions that you could find in your dictionary in 2019:

  • A company is a network of people interacting to leave the world a better place for our children
  • Nature is part of who we are
  • Employees are trustworthy and competent human beings with positive intent

Choose one of them and, as of today, make it your own truth: What kind of new behaviours or possibilities will that create for yourself and your organisation? What practice do you need to start to create this reality? And how will this make you a better leader?

Would THIS be an opportunity for a "happier" 2019?

When it goes about "stories" nothing is either true or false. It's the half empty / half full glass story. The key question is: "Which story do I choose to embody to find meaning and leave the world a better place? And then, how do I learn to live with it?"

"New year, new me"

Without challenging our beliefs and our conditioned way of reacting, our new year won't be very new. It will be a repetition of the previous year.

By taking the time to explore how some places and moments in your life have shaped your own personal stories, you will understand that many of them are not necessarily the truth. With this higher level of awareness, you may then create many possibilities for a "happy new 2019".

I wish you a "happier 2019"!


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