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When Your Quarterly Planning Doesn't Follow the Plan

By Tiffany Chepul

    Thu, May 10, 2012 @ 10:00 AM Annual & Quarterly Planning

    It’s Week 7 and your star Sales Director just quit, your biggest customer is asking for a discount (or else) and your General Counsel just informed you of a new pending lawsuit. Has your quarter just imploded and threatened to derail your focus? Here are a few steps to get you and your team back on track:

    1. Start by getting yourself focused on what you need to do for the remainder of the quarter. Look at your Personal Priorities (and any Personal Priorities of exec team members who have left the company unexpectedly) and decide what HAS to get done. Add Personal Priorities if needed. What Priorities can someone else take? What can be deferred for next quarter? Get yourself down to 5 Personal Priorities or less and rank them by order of importance. Much like an emergency landing, parents should put on their oxygen masks first before helping anyone else.

    2. In the next Weekly Meeting with the Executive Team, use the Update Status page instead of the Energy Map to review each person's Priorities individually. Follow the process above for each person - reprioritize and recalibrate as needed. The goal is for each person to be clearly focused on what needs to happen in the remaining weeks of the quarter. Discuss Yellows and Reds as you go.

    3. Make sure the Weekly Meetings are happening at the Group level with consistency. This becomes even more important when leadership changes. The Groups need to feel secure in their routine and know that they are still going to be held accountable. Facilitate these yourself, or appoint a Group member to facilitate the Weekly Meeting.

    4. Go ahead and schedule the date for your Quarterly Planning Session for the next quarter. It should happen 2-3 weeks before the end of the quarter. This will give the team a light at the end of the tunnel, and make sure the team hits the ground running with a new plan in Week 1.

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