If you are like many of our clients, you may be considering adjusting travel plans for your team in the midst of the concern surrounding COVID-19. This will obviously have a big impact on most businesses, which makes it more important than ever to prioritize your team’s quarterly planning session. You’ll need to spend time thinking about the impacts to your team and your business, so even if you are canceling travel, don’t cancel your session.
Excited. Ready. Anxious. Eager. Let’s go!
Worried. Tired. Stressed. Done. Overwhelmed.
At the end of a meeting, we usually recommend closing with an exercise where everyone in the room shares one word on how they are feeling leaving the meeting. When you get to the end of your next Quarterly Planning Session, you don’t want to hear the second set of closing remarks. You want the team to leave feeling energized and ready to take on the next 90 days. Successfully achieving your strategy may hinge on it.
Great strategic meetings don’t happen by accident. They happen because someone is committed to THINKING through the purpose and outcome, PLANNING all of the details in advance, and DOING the hard work of running the meeting. This is the role of an excellent annual planning facilitator that can help you better define your strategy, create a winning annual plan and leave with an action plan to get your annual initiatives done. In order to facilitate a planning session, there is a lot of hard work that needs to be done.
Many of our clients whose fiscal year doesn't match the calendar year are about to close the books on another successful year! That means it's time for Annual Planning. Setting aside time to spend a few days with your team to work on the right plan for the new year is key to success. What does that "right plan" look like?
Our team of expert consultants has facilitated hundreds of annual planning sessions over the last decade, so we've seen all the patterns and know what it takes to create a winning plan for the year.
You can make an argument that your company’s annual planning meeting is the most important thing you do all year. Each of your quarterly execution plans will anchor off of the decisions you make during the yearly planning meeting, and those quarterly plans are what drive the focus of your team’s weekly and daily execution. Plus, your Annual Plan has to move your company’s long-term strategic goals forward and be aligned to your core foundational strategy. Not to mention that you usually have your company’s most expensive leadership team in the room for one or two days - the cost is high and there’s a lot riding on this important business planning meeting. Don't worry, we have over a dozen years of experience in strategic planning meetings, and we can help get you on the right track.
Are your meetings the butt of work-related jokes? Why is it that we roll our eyes with disdain when our calendar is loaded with meetings, and more specifically, why do we dread the planning meetings that are so important to our strategic success? Let me ask, have you used senior team members as facilitators? If so, you’ve very likely chosen the wrong facilitator. Save yourself a bad decision before your next planning session. Don’t choose your CEO or an executive team member for strategic planning facilitation. If you do, you’ll pay for it all year (or quarter) based on the plan developed and the pain to get there. Most executives are great at their jobs, but they don't have all of the qualities of a good team facilitator. When you are in charge, it is hard to be an active listener, which is extremely important to bring out all of the great ideas from the team.
It sounds so simple. But, I was just discussing scaling up meeting rhythms with one of my colleagues, and she told me that it took her last company three years to get into the right meeting cadence that actually accelerated their team's progress! They learned through a lot of trial and error (and probably a lot of wasted time in meetings that were unnecessary and some productive time lost catching up in hallway conversations when a meeting was needed but didn't happen).
Successful SMART goal (priority) setting is an essential skill for both personal and professional success. If you aren’t setting goals, you’re likely not making progress. However, research by the University of Scranton found that 92% of people who set New Year's resolutions never achieve them.
Business goals don't fare much better; 67% of great strategies fail due to poor execution. Writing an effective goal will increase your chances of successfully achieving that goal, or quarterly rock. Fortunately, goal-setting is a skill that you can learn and improve. Setting goals and priorities is essential to running a great company so it is worth the time and effort to improve this skill.
Here are 6 Easy Steps to Writing Effective Goals and Priorities:
So, you had a great planning session with your team. Everybody left the 3-day session pumped up and ready to hit your targets for the year and move the company one step closer to achieving your Big Hairy Audacious Goal and other long term strategic goals. You've done the strategy work extremely well? What could possibly go wrong?
Unfortunately, even with everyone’s good intentions, running the day-to-day business can get in the way of making progress on your annual and quarterly rocks if you are not intentional about your execution or operation planning of all of your important projects to help you achieve your vision. These strategic planning tips should help you execute on your 3 year strategic plan while keeping track of your day to day activities.