A new year of possibility
“A new year is a time of possibility, and I hope that we can remain focused on developing ourselves, working and living more responsibly, and supporting each other to help us navigate whatever 2023 has in store.”
The month of January is typically a time for setting goals and intentions. It marks a natural moment in the year to hit the reset button, realign priorities, and focus on the projects and opportunities that inspire us the most.
This goes beyond making New Year’s Resolutions, which, according to Forbes, 80% of us leave behind as soon as we reach February. Instead, at OUP, we are focusing on the tangible steps we can take to support our colleagues, our community, and wider society for the year ahead.
We kicked off 2023 with a focus on learning—be that a skill, habit, or thought pattern. Throughout the month, we have encouraged our colleagues to reflect on their strengths and achievements, and consider how they can achieve their future ambitions. To support this, we are proud to have a diverse pool of trained (or in-training) coaches from 17 countries across the world, all of whom are committed to helping colleagues unlock their potential. Coaching can be an extremely powerful tool; it’s perhaps no surprise that the number of Google searches for ‘coach’ is up 70%. It can help to boost confidence and self-awareness, while also providing the clarity and focus needed to take on new opportunities. I look forward to hearing how our colleagues benefit as a result.
Within the University of Oxford – of which we are a department – we are delighted to welcome a new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Irene Tracey. In her inauguration speech, the Vice-Chancellor outlined her vision for the University and the continued potential Oxford has to make a difference, “whether that’s via knowledge generation, through discovery research, or knowledge transfer, through our world-class teaching.”
Professor Tracey also spoke of the University’s employees as its “lifeblood”—something we wholeheartedly concur with. Without the ongoing dedication of our colleagues, it would not be possible to achieve our mission of advancing knowledge and learning around the world.
In addition to this, Professor Tracey mentioned the need “to get serious about climate change.” This topic is rarely far from our minds, especially as temperature records for New Year’s Day were shattered across Europe.
Ensuring a more sustainable future is more important than ever. That’s why at OUP, we have similarly been strengthening our focus on climate change and sustainability throughout January.
As an organization, we are making commitments to further reduce our individual and collective impact on climate, biodiversity, and waste. However, we know that even the smallest of actions can make a big difference, so we are encouraging colleagues to make pledges of where they will personally make a change—at work, and at home—to help protect our environment. Supported by one of our employee networks, the Green Group, pledges span using public transport, to purchasing second hand items, to re-using plastic bags.
Throughout the past month, topics such as war, inflation, cost of living, technical innovation, and of course, climate change have dominated the headlines. And there is no way to predict what the rest of this year will bring. However, a new year is a time of possibility, and I hope that we can remain focused on developing ourselves, working and living more responsibly, and supporting each other to help us navigate whatever 2023 has in store.