The Value of Review

Video Transcript: The Value of Review

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Dr Janin:

The topic of today – very suitable – is going to be “The Value of Reviewing”.  We all know that saying of the wisdom in hindsight, which means you usually regret you didn’t do something more clever.

Audience Interjection:

It’s called Captain Hindsight.

Dr Janin:

Yes, Captain Hindsight.

And – it’s not that one I want to talk about. It is more about what benefits there are from a “looking back” with a different kind of purpose and not to create yourself in a state of regret. So, the review I have in mind is not just a statistical analysis of sales figures. It is more like what I tried to do for myself.

To give you the idea …. Is to take the back of your calendar, and to try to get a helicopter view of what’s been happening in your year.

So, I paged through my diary and I made some notes about every month in terms of what happened. Not just business wise; also private. What happened with health? What were the major things? Quite an amazing activity. It took me a few cups of coffee to get through all of that.

But, after that … after that, you let it sink in and you think, but what has actually been the case? What if I represent this in a visual way?

Now the detail on this is not really relevant. It is about what I saw in my case, but I thought – to convince you that it’s really a good idea – this … after the chewing through and digesting what happened through the year … gave me an opportunity to say: What happened to my plans and my goals? And what were, actually, the unexpecteds? And what was the value that came out of the unexpecteds?

And when I look at that first section of the year, the image that came to me was I felt like Lara the Tomb Raider. I was diving in all the caves and jumping off cliffs and … I wasn’t quite sure whether there was going to be monsters or heroes. It was really, in terms of business, pretty adventurous.

I drew two constant lines. They don’t come with high finance, but they sort of – if you have something that doesn’t go up and down all the time – give a sense of stability.

In any case, the unexpected started kicking in when NMMU, which had been postponing and juggling dates for four months, finally came up with dates for research training, but doubled it. The unexpected can always kick in.

Now, very interesting to look at unexpecteds because they say something. There was one big crisis which I didn’t anticipate. And, we know this thing about crises … we hate them, but they do happen. And, when they do happen, it’s usually that something is really important. Well … very interesting …. how energy can be so blocked in a crisis, but – once you come out of it – you’ve got something new. They say the crisis is the break down of the old with an opportunity for the new. So, when you’re looking at your crises of the past year, take them seriously. Some good may come out of them.

What is the value of this reviewing?

First of all, I thought I achieved more than I thought I had.

So, we’re all chasing more, and we get more chaotic trying to get things done faster … everything fast, fast, fast. It doesn’t mean we manage well. We manage chaos. And the interesting thing with an activity like this is you actually just stand still. Stand still. Take stock. And out of that taking stock, that which can be priorities … the value of the review … what can be priorities for me next year speaks very loudly in review.

So this is just to sum it up and to encourage you to say take a wholistic look at what you did, but don’t relive the emotions. You want to take your research specs and say: What actually happened? These facts speak for themselves, and you may have a very uplifting story that will take you into a whole new fantastic year of business together.

Thank you.