Here in the western world, we’re coming to that part of the year where the summer turns slowly into winter. The end of year is in sight.  I see it in the faces of the people I meet, their attention is turning to end of year parties, and time off with the family. But we’re not there yet. The mini holiday that November gives us, is a welcome break for many but it feels to me more like a taster for what is to come.

However for many businesses November and December can be make or break months, not just in revenue but in production and the execution of their projects too. No matter what industry we are in, staying focused on achieving our goals over the next thirty working days can make a massive difference to the total result of the year.

For me, I need to find some attractive assignments for some of my colleagues whose contracts are coming to an end and I have speeches to make, lectures to give and customer meetings to prepare and, oh yes the Christmas party to organize. At The Bayard Partnership it is Chairman’s privilege to find and choose the location. This year I have rented the brewing hall of a disused beer factory. Having our reception standing between the giant copper beer vats, we will be reminded of a world in dramatic change and humbled by the scale of what once was one of the largest breweries in the world. Stella Artois, Leuven.

And as I prepare for the end of 2015 I cannot help but think further ahead. The big focus for me next year is going to be based around three themes: Sustainability, Security and Industry 4.0. I would like to work with people that are interested in looking to find ways of extending product life and thereby slowing down the rate of replacement. This is especially complex because we need to find new business models which allow sustainable profits to be made without customers having to buy new every year or so.

In addition, Information Security and protection against cyber-crime is such an important topic, especially when we see in industry 4.0 how customers and suppliers will be able to directly influence both the supply chain and production process.  Maybe there is a way of combining all three?

I believe that by selecting themes to focus on, we can not only be more efficient in the acquisition of new knowledge but can much more easily put it to good use. Learning is fulfilling and it becomes even more so when others benefit from it too.

Have a good week,

Harley