The calendar year is off to a great start. Sales are coming in faster than expected. Revenues are exceeding last year’s numbers, and the production schedule is full with the need for extended over-time becoming more of the norm than the exception. You must be doing things right. Right?
Maybe. But then again, maybe not. You could be riding an economic wave that is simply pulling you along for the ride. As a leadership team, if you don’t know why you’re experiencing the success – or challenges – you’re currently experiencing, you’re not doing your job. It’s time to regroup and understand why. It’s time for a first quarter leadership strategy session.
If you don’t know why you’re experiencing the success – or challenges – you are currently experiencing, you’re not doing your job.
A common mistake I see many otherwise brilliant leadership teams make is: They don’t take the time to intentionally regroup – at least quarterly – to assess what is working and what isn’t – and why. After these leaders invest their time, energies, and money to develop or update a focused and cogent strategic plan, they omit a key part of their jobs. They become so busy with the implementation they don’t make the time for assessing, validating, and adjusting their strategies to stay strategic, alert and nimble.
Make the time for assessing, validating, and adjusting your strategies to stay strategic, alert and nimble.
Even though production schedules are full, sales are brisk, and revenues are higher than projected, you could be cresting. If you don’t know why you’re having the successes you are, you are also probably in the dark about their tenure. Without some insight into what’s driving your business’ growth, you are not in a position to plan, invest, roll out new initiatives, or move beyond the here and now. You’ll be busy staying busy, but at any moment, you could also be coming to the crest of your economic wave. When you hit the top, your unexplained growth, productivity, and profitability will turn downward. How fast and how far down will also be an unknown. Depending upon how much you’ve invested, expended, or committed can cause your downturn to be a mild bump or a complete disaster for your business. Without knowing why, you won’t know how much.
Updating the strategic plan cannot be delegated.
A quarterly meeting with your leadership team to assess and update strategies doesn’t need to be a day-long affair. Updating the strategic plan and strategies also isn’t an activity that can be delegated to a junior team member or someone’s assistant. When that happens, that staff member typically emails the leadership team, asks each to update his or her part of the plan, and then provides an ‘updated’ version to the entire team. That’s not a strategy update. That’s an administrative activity.
Make quarterly strategy updates real and valuable to your leadership team and your company. If your strategic plan is well-crafted, your team should be able to review the plan, discuss the key initiatives, have prepared information on what is working, what is not and why for each, and then be positioned to debate and determine adjustments going forward. It’s not difficult. It’s intentional.
It’s the first quarter of the calendar year. It’s time to regroup. It’s time to stay strategic, alert and nimble. It’s time for your first quarter leadership strategy session.
Copyright MMXVII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn what your first quarter leadership metrics mean and more about Liz on LinkedIn!