Are you on track to hit all of your annual goals and finish the year strong? You built a great plan during your Annual Planning session and you have two quarters of execution behind you now. It’s the middle of the year and you are running hard, but it's rare for a team to know everything they need to know at the beginning of the year to create a business plan that will succeed without any changes or adjustments after implementation begins.
Now is the time to STOP-REVIEW-ADJUST.
Here are 3 things to consider as part of a Mid-Year Check-up that can help you make decisions faster & better so you finish the year strong:
1) Are you running towards the right Target?
When working with clients during Annual Planning, we always coach them to begin with the end in mind. One of the tools we use is called the Destination Postcard. This is an exercise that asks you to create a vivid end of year description of success for the entire company. Imagine you put yourself in a time machine and go to December 31st. Now write a note to yourself describing the great year you have had and all that you have achieved. That note is your Destination Postcard. From that you should be able to pull out your targets for the year and identify the key initiatives you'll need to accomplish in order to achieve those goals. If you did this exercise and still feel good about the targets you're shooting for, great. You have two more quarters to continue working toward those targets. You may also do the exercise and find that things have changed and you need to adjust the targets or add another key initiative. Now is the time to do that. If you didn't do this exercise during annual planning, it's not too late. Here is a link to the Destination Postcard tool we use.
2) Are you working on the right things?
Even the best working plan can be made stronger with a few key adjustments. Doing a mid-year Start-Stop-Keep exercise with your team will help you identify adjustments that can make your work much more efficient and effective. Ask your team to write down at least 3 things in each category to discuss, debate and agree upon. Starts- things you can begin doing now to improve results or make life easier for the team. Stops- things that aren’t working as planned or are wasting the team's time and energy. Keeps- things that are working well and may need to be accelerated. Pay special attention to the stops. This will often help you reduce and simplify your path. And remember, if you have fewer priorities, you will have a higher probability of getting them all done and reaching your goals. Here is a link to the Start-Stop-Keep tool we use.
3) Do you have the right KPI’s to guide you?
Different from your targets or results indicators, here we are looking for Leading Indicators – a handful of specific KPIs that drive you towards achieving a result. They measure your progress in achieving the things that must happen before your desired outcome can happen. Here's an example: Your desired outcome is to close 100 deals. In order to close 100 deals, you know you'll need 500 qualified leads. What things have to happen to generate 500 qualified leads? Create a KPI to measure that. You can also use this to create a Daily Question for the team will help keep everyone focused on what is most important. What am I doing today to get 500 qualified leads? Here is a link to our KPI Creator tool.
I hope these tips help you take an objective look at the first 6 months of the year and make the necessary adjustments and guide you to achieving your annual goals over the next 6 months. If you found the Mid-Year Checklist helpful, you may also want to view the Mastering the Rockefeller Habits Checklist.
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images