Ready, Set, Go! 8 Tips to Start Your Year Off Right

By Alan Gehringer

dateWed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Many companies I work with are on a calendar year and have completed their annual planning sessions Execution_tipsand developed a new Q1 plan to start the year.  There is an old saying that a good plan executed well is more effective than a brilliant plan executed poorly.  I have always placed an 80% importance factor on execution and 20% on the plan.  You can decide what you think the ratio should be, but I think the point is valid regardless as long as you have the right strategy.

So here are a few reminders to start your year off right to maximize your execution this year:

  1. Ensure your plans are complete. There are usually some things we cannot confirm during the planning session, so circle back and add these details to the plan.  For example: targets, Red-Yellow-Green success criteria, due dates, action items, and additional validation of winning move assumptions.
  2. Follow up and ensure your groups have all completed their planning sessions and that the plans are aligned with the company goals. If not, it is not too late to schedule the planning sessions, and share the company theme and priorities with the groups.
  3. Communicate the plan to the rest of the company. Share the theme for the year, key initiatives and the celebration goal to engage and motivate everyone in the organization.  Remember, the idea is to get everyone rowing in the same direction, not just the leadership and management teams. Many companies use town hall style meetings to accomplish this.
  4. Confirm your meeting rhythms. Do you have daily and weekly huddles in place? Do the times work for all of the team members? Is every person in your company in a huddle? Is the team having good meetings with themselves to prepare for the weekly meetings?  Are you dedicating a day for monthly meetings to work on a strategic item, validate your Winning Moves or to learn something with your team?
  5. Have you scheduled the rest of your planning sessions for the year so the team can get them on their schedules? Are you including suppliers, partners and customers in your planning process?
  6. Do you have plans to reach out to your customers for feedback and input throughout the year? It is a good practice to seek feedback and discuss your customers every week. Consider using the Net Promoter Score methodology.
  7. Have you updated your “Path of Progress” so that you have a roadmap of what strategic items you will work on and when throughout the year?
  8. Do you have a plan to ensure you are living your core values and purpose and have mechanisms in place to bring these to life to strengthen your core? If not, check out this blog for some ideas to get started.

There are many positive indicators going into the New Year as the US economy continues to gain momentum. I hope you will find these reminders and tips useful and are excited to begin a new year with focus and alignment.  Please let me know what other activities you are doing to kick start your year.

Execute well and have a great year!  Alan


Alan Gehringer


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images