As we crossed over to 2011, I noticed a statistic that predicted only 12 percent of people would make a New Year's resolution this year. The primary reason cited for this is that resolutions are so difficult to keep. Historically, I read, more than 50 percent of New Year's resolutions are abandoned during the year.

I am not a lifestyle counselor, but I know that sticking to your resolve can require a lifestyle change. We all know that established behaviors are difficult to reset in the context of our many behaviors and influences. We need to consider the objective within the context of lifestyle.

Stated another way, we can recognize the influence of our environment or culture on our chances of success. This applies to working as well as personal lives, and you'll find the theme of culture and goal attainment is strong throughout this issue. In his column, William McKnight states that, when setting expectations and plotting the course of progress, we need to take a hard look at the culture of the organization we are a part of.

Jim Harris believes it the culture of the company is really its intrinsic strength. "Employees of collaborative organizations thrive because of the intrinsic motivation that comes from working toward the organization's shared and united purpose." (Read the full article.)

Tom Finneran and Bill Russell find that organizational culture is the X factor in assessing the maturity and, more importantly, capabilities of a business intelligence program. Within this context, the authors share stepping stones for incremental progress toward higher levels of BI.

Whether you're driving toward organizational or personal goals, set your desired outcome, do the prep work, look at current and desired capabilities within the context of the culture, and stick to it. Nobody wants to have to wait until next year to start over again.

Enjoy the issue,

Julie Langenkamp

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