Every fall many of us get that desire to buy a new notebook, journal or fancy pen – it’s just something we did every fall for years as we prepared to go back-to-school.

This weekend, with the smell of autumn in the air, I just had to get a new notebook when I dropped into the local office supply store. I cruised the aisles and browsed the shelves of binders, backpacks and all the other wonderful back-to-school supplies for kids and thought, yes, it is time to think about what I want to learn this fall.

Summer is over, kids will be focusing on schoolwork, and we too need to plug into the energy of the fall. This is the start of the last quarter for most businesses – so pull out your goals and take a look at where you stand. Did a lot of things go sideways this year? Are you struggling to re-focus? You aren’t alone, so connect with your boss or your team and sort through the situation. Start by establishing where you are and what you can salvage. Then examine what new plans and goals you can execute in the next 4 months to help you re-ignite, re-purpose, re-position, or whatever it takes to move forward.

With the back-to-school mentality, take a look at your training budget. What new skills do you or your team need to execute your goals? Is there still money in the budget? Get the signal out that you are going to be looking for training money in the budget again in the new year. Lay out your plan for moving forward and include concrete, immediate development steps, as well as what will be needed in the first quarter next year.

We’ve spent the last months focused on surviving, and adjusting to the new world of business. Now we must get excited about new goals and move forward.

I’ve just pulled out three business books to read this coming month, and signed up for two webinars. That new notebook will be handy for scribbling my ideas. Yes, I feel ready for fall and a new time of learning. Are you?


About Dale

Dale Wilcox is co-owner of WATMEC. Dale is a respected board member, former volunteer of the year, and inaugural Chair of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.