Down on the farm it was a hazard: the barn sour horse.

A barn sour horse wants only to be in one place: the barn. Getting such a horse out for a ride is an exercise in frustration. And the moment you turn for home, your ride just got real fast.

Humans can act similarly. A 2023 sour team is a group of people who only want the year to end—and are in a rush to get there. As a result, days are wasted, productivity plummets and you’re at high risk 2024 will begin sluggishly.

Make certain you’re maximizing value creation and strengthening the employee experience by finishing 2023 strong. Here are 10 questions you can ask to facilitate a discussion that matters:

  1. What did we experience this year that inspired you the most?
  2. In the future, when we talk about 2023, what memories do you wish us to consider?
  3. What did we prove to ourselves this year? (And why does that matter?)
  4. What did we prove to others over the past 12 months?
  5. Who on this team do you want to recognize for making an important difference in the results we created as a team?
  6. If we could “re-do” 2023 what are things we’d do differently—and why?
  7. What “big” decisions did we delay unnecessarily this year? (And what will we do to recognize this procrastination and act sooner next year?)
  8. What habits did we establish in 2023 that are better discontinued in the new year?
  9. What habits do we want to strengthen as we move into 2024?
  10. To increase our steady speed of achievement in 2024 to what actions will we commit?

2023 may not have been perfect. There’s no need, however, to rush its conclusion. There’s still time to make certain the year was more sweet than sour.



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