In my very favorite episode, among many, of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver gave a “friendly” send-off to 2016. There is no doubt that 2016 had its low moments. But it also brought us many, many moments worth celebrating. As the year comes to an end, we’re planning to carry those positive moments with us—along with all the lessons we learned—to start fresh  in 2017. What were the highlights?

  1. Collaborate. At The Improve Group, we faced many opportunities and challenges in 2016—from the incredible honor of implementing the Olmstead Quality of Life survey, to saying goodbye to colleagues moving on to new adventures. As a team, we had to come up with ideas and solutions at every turn. And we did so through one of our core values – collaboration. By staying connected and engaged with clients, colleagues, and each other, we faced every challenge head on, learning every step of the way.  Some exciting ideas emerged through our experiences that we’ll be talking about more in 2017.
  2. Amplify. This concept is brilliant – deliberately embolden and encourage people by amplifying and building on their ideas. It’s been used by the Obama administration to bring forward new thinking and wisdom from more corners and perspectives than ever before. By using this strategy, we connected with people in new ways—and learned more deeply than ever before.
  3. Joy. 2016 reminded us of the importance of simple joys. Eat a cookie. Take a walk. Stop and admire the view. Go out to drinks with colleagues. Every single day in 2016—even the toughest ones—included opportunities to smile. Even when I was sitting at our high top with my coworkers and first learned that Prince had died, we sat around and shared our favorite memories.  Together, we introduced joy into a very sad day.
  4. Intention. This year also taught us that we must make our purpose known, and then commit to acting towards that purpose. At The Improve Group, our mission has always been focused on creating a more resilient, equitable and thriving world. For many years, that meant giving advice to the nonprofit and public sector so that their services contributed to this vision. Now, we are stepping out and taking some new risks – designing new products, bringing people together across sectors, and incorporating as a public benefit corporation – to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And we are already thrilled at the possibilities this new journey will bring.

What are you doing to lay the foundation for your 2017? I’d love to hear your plans, too. 

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a joyful 2017!


 Leah Goldstein Moses