Skate to Where the Puck is Going During Annual Planning

By Patrick Thean

We are getting into Q4.  It is a good time to begin thinking about what the plan for the next year is going to be.  Consider how you will finish Q4 in the right position to have a great next year.  Wayne Gretzky said " A good hockey player plays where the pucWayne Gretzkyk is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." 

How do we apply this advice to Annual Planning for the next year?  Ask yourself "does my Execution Plan play where the puck is?  Or am I playing where the puck is going to be?"  

Over the next few weeks, I will be blogging on this topic to help our clients develop a great plan for next year - one that helps them skate to where the puck is going to be.

Let's start today with skating to where the puck will be with your People Resource plan.  As your business grows, you might have a plan to hire new members to join your company in your annual plan.  Here are some questions to ask your team as you develop your resource and hiring plans: 

  • Are we hiring someone to fill the current role today?  Or are we hiring someone to fill a larger future role?
  • What are the skills and competence we need for a role that is 2x of the current role we are hiring for?
  • If we are hiring a manager to manage a team of 10 people, are we looking for someone who can manage 10 people, or are we looking for someone that can manage 20 to 30 people?
  • Are we willing to hire and pay for talent that has already been where we are about to go?

You probably noticed the pattern in the questions.  When hiring, over hire for the position.  See if you can find someone who has already walked the path that your company is about to embark on.  Don't hire someone who can do what you need today.  Hire someone who has done what you need to do tomorrow.  Tomorrow is about where the puck is going to be. Today is about where the puck already is.

Download Free Middle-Market
CEO Playbook for Success


Patrick Thean


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images