An almost timeless tradition for the beginning of each year is to make New Year's resolutions. While the goals are the same for most folksto introduce some much-needed improvements into one's lifethe strategies are often widely divergent. Some set goals that can not possibly be reached within a year, such as the loss of more than 50 percent of one's body weight. Others place targets that are well within reach, such as cleaning out a garage or replacing a couple of 12AX7 tubes in a beloved Fisher receiver. Sometimes, the resolutions are made on behalf of an engineering group, such as doubling the number of new designs compared to the year before, or for the company, such as doubling revenue compared to the year before.
This industry is blessed with talented people who work hard and accomplish much. For them, improvements come by their very nature, not because of some resolution made at the beginning of each year. Improvement comes through determination, as part of an ongoing process. There is no true "resolution" since the first step in achieving improvement is admitting that there is room for it. It's no mystery why some individuals, some companies, do better than others: they are motivated by the need to grow. These individuals understand the value of teamwork, and management at successful companies does whatever it can to foster the growth of its individuals and their teams. Let us share a hope that we all grow, all improve in 2011, helping those around us to grow in the process.