Is your team prepared for the New Year?
Are they clear and aligned so they’re better able to work together instead of frustrating one another?
Do they know what to stop doing and what to start?
Are they looking forward to the new year or are they just…blah?
If you already have a decent strategic plan that’s provided guidance and structure for you and your team, preparing for the new year doesn’t need to be a big production or a major event. I know that sounds strange coming from someone who facilitates strategic planning sessions, but it’s true. Don’t make planning and preparing for a new quarter, new year, or new multi-year timeframe more difficult than it needs to be. Clarify what needs to be clarified. Don’t over-complicate or over-plan the rest. Focus on the big-picture, big-ticket items. The details will follow.
Focus on the big-picture, big-ticket items. The details will follow.
Instead of creating massive spreadsheets and mounds of documentation, take a more basic, simple, strategic approach. Focus only on activities that will drive your business towards your vision. Stop everything else. Clarify which strategies and actions have or will have the biggest impact on moving your business forward and which won’t. To identify these strategies, ask your team, “Given the type of business we want to have and who we want to be serving when our vision becomes our reality, what have we done this year that’s been working for us, what hasn’t, and why?” That’s a powerful question. It forces you and your team to reassess your vision, your mission, your market, your customers, your offerings, your competition, and your strategies.
Ask the question, break it down into its component parts, and let your team discuss and debate it:
- What’s been working for us?
- Specifically why?
- What’s not been working for us?
- Specifically why?
With the input you gather from these questions, ask your team to identify the handful (Yes literally no more than five), big-picture, big-ticket items the team needs to focus on for the next three years to propel the business forward. Often, these big-ticket items align with one another, leverage one another, and help to solidify a clear path forward.
Pay attention to the Stop Doing List. It’s an insight into your leadership and business.
Once you and the team have identified your big-picture items, create a Stop Doing List. This list includes all activities, products, services, internal processes, etc., that are not effective, waste time, waste money, have little to no ROI, are painful, are rigid, no longer serve a purpose, don’t help drive the big-ticket items forward, or just plain don’t work even though you’ve tried everything. This list should also include some ‘people-oriented’ stop-doing things such as “Stop making all decisions in the C-Suite.” Pay attention to this list. It highlights the personality of your leadership style and team. Do you spend a lot of time on interesting but not strategic activities? Do you allow ineffective procedures and projects to run unchecked as they waste time, money and resources? What do you need to stop doing so you and your team can start doing what really matters?
Create excitement and energy. Create a Start Doing List.
Finally, identify what you and your team need to Start Doing (and by when) to sequence and align everyone’s activities for maximum leverage and impact. When do the various big-ticket items need to occur? Who’s going to ‘own’ them? Also, determine what each team, department, location, or manager need from you to drive the initiatives they ‘own’ forward? By clarifying who’s going to do what and by when, and what you’ll do to help clear roadblocks for them, you’ll immediately start to ignite excitement and energy within your team. They’re no longer going to be stuck working on initiatives and processes that weren’t working. They’re no longer going to be given challenging tasks with no support. They’re now going to be able to work on strategic initiatives with your support that matter, that make an impact, and that they ‘own’.
Prepare your team for the year ahead. Help them change their outlook from blah to “Let’s do this!”
Read Stop So You Can Get The Results You Want and start doing what effective leaders KNOW and DO!
Copyright MMXVII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.