Who can look to the future and, more importantly, plan what's going to happen? Well this month has been all about that. We have been deciding where we want our company to be in 2007 - a bit of time travel. We know that with careful planning and a clear vision the world is anyone's oyster, as long as you have a clear focus and believe. So together with my two business partners, Ian Mitchell and David James, I headed for the fresh air of Sussex to map out between us the Bartlett Mitchell business strategy for the coming five years.
If I wasn't sure before, a quick walk around our hotel confirmed that not only was time travel possible but I might even be caught up in a time warp. I could feel a Groundhog Day coming on.
Over the next two days the strategy meeting - facilitated by the fabulous, thought-provoking Nick - lived up to our expectations. It was a great way to work out how we were going to achieve our goals, now clearly defined with the vision statement: "a successful business for the mutual benefit of our clients, troupes and suppliers".
It's a long-term commitment. We've committed to grow in size and stature and be recognised as a company with food and service at our heart, flavoured with fun and delivered with innovation. Our teams - or troupes, as Ian calls them - are the only way we will get to our goal. I think we discovered that it's not the destination that's important, but the journey. And we have laid pen to paper to make sure we measure and achieve this.
As for that time-warped hotel, well it just goes to show you that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The service was personal and professionally delivered and the food was stunning.
Thank God there was a gym there. The running machine took a real pounding, much to David's annoyance, as his only participation in exercise was experienced through the noise - his room was above the machine. He definitely is a man of words, not action, when it comes to the gym.
An enormous number of words have also been on the agenda this month, with a record number of tenders to be written. Planning was paramount to make sure each one got personal and bespoke attention. But what a bumper crop!
So, are words enough? The answer is, in reality, a big, fat, resounding NO. Words are useless and of no value, no matter how much good intention is put into them, unless they are followed by action and commitment from the heart - and that is what we intend to do.
On a personal level, too, all I have to do is find that man who can deliver more than words. A rare breed, as us girls know.