Planning to Plan


Many businesses are in the thick of “Q4” right now. For most folks in sales and delivery roles, this means having a singular focus on the daily “blocking and tackling” necessary to achieve quarterly and annual goals. For managers and executives, it means supporting your team’s tactical needs as they work to finish out the year strong, while beginning to think about (and plan for) 2016. Let’s talk about that part.

As you think about what worked (and what didn’t) in 2015, and how to achieve more in 2016, ask yourself some tough questions:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

How would your team answer? How would the least successful members of your team answer? If you’re honest, I suspect you can see opportunities to improve in several (or all) of these areas. And all are keys to enabling your team to accomplish more in the coming year.

In this series of articles, I’ll focus on approaches to do each of these things better. Much of it will relate to the process you use to plan, to monitor success throughout the year, and to adapt as necessary. The methods we will review are applicable to most any business, public sector organization or non-profit, and are based on what I’ve seen work in 30 years of business leadership and management consulting experience with hundreds of organizations.

And, as a bonus, doing things this way is MORE FUN and MORE REWARDING, both personally and professionally.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the first step – Vision.