Liz's Latest Articles
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.
When things start to settle a bit in your world as you adjust to the new reality caused by the global COVID-19 Pandemic, be prepared to dramatically revise your strategic plan. It’s no longer strategically viable. Whether your operations experience a positive or negative impact for two weeks or two years, the future work world you were envisioning when your plan was created no longer exists.
With most of the country now entering the second week of voluntary or mandatory quarantine and no or remote-work status, our personal and work worlds have changed. As a leader, be prepared to lead your teams to and through their emotional, psychological and physical reactions to the changes they’re experiencing. How you lead your teams in the second stage of change will exemplify how you can or can not lead in crises.
During a recent quarterly strategic plan update session, the CFO had an epiphany. We had been discussing what they, as the senior staff, had done to communicate their new vision and mission to all staff. We had also discussed what they would be doing next to work with their teams to help them understand how each team’s efforts should support the new vision. As part of that discussion, I suggested the senior staff ask themselves and their teams this question: How will this (process, initiative, project, etc.,) move our Vision and Mission - and those we serve - forward? As we discussed this question further, the CFO sat back with a somewhat stunned look on his face.
One of the questions I’m initially asked by a new strategic planning client is, “How will we know what we’re supposed to focus on with our new plan?” Well, the easy answer is, “You’ll focus on what you need to focus on,” but the more appropriate answer is, “You’ll focus on what your answers to some critical questions tell you to focus on.” Now you may be thinking, “Those sound like a couple of non-answers and they don’t sound strategic at all.”