It’s almost year-end and it’s time to set your company’s sights on the new year. Large companies have been working on next year’s budget since August but mid-size and smaller companies are usually focused on finishing the current year with a bang. Companies of all sizes need to make strategic plans for the new year. Now is the time to plan a leadership retreat or half-day planning session to envision a fantastic new year for your organization.
Brio Leadership has helped a multitude of companies and large departments make plans for their new year. We want to share five secrets with you about the process.
Secret #1: If you don’t plan to plan, you will fail to plan. With your leadership team, take out your calendars right now and find a date in November, December or January when you can spend quality, uninterrupted time to envision your dreams and goals for the new year. It’s best to spend a day together to do some team building and planning together.
Secret #2: Involve as many people as possible in the planning. Good change management models always recommend widespread involvement in planning and executing changes. Without that, there is no buy-in to the plans made. Some companies start the planning exercise with executive teams to establish over-arching goals and then repeat the sessions in each department to determine more granular objectives to help meet the corporate goals.
Secret #3: Spend time appreciating the good things that you accomplished this year. After a fun team- building exercise or a meal together, ask the group to think of the five things they achieved this year, either individually or as a company, they are most proud of. Ask each person to list the reasons each accomplishment went so well; in other words, what did we do that made that so successful? Then discuss how the organization could continue to use those success elements to achieve even more next year.
Secret #4: Revisit your values, purpose statement and 10-year vision. Savvy leaders will take this opportunity to remind their teams of the organization’s higher purpose, the values they hold dear and the future vision of what the organization can become. As Stephen Covey taught us in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we “Begin with the end in mind.” Values, purpose and vision are the end goals of a highly effective organization.
Secret #5: Consider inviting an outside facilitator to lead the planning. Some companies like to bring in an expert with “new eyes”, at least every other year, to help guide the discussion, question your assumptions and help you think of things that wouldn’t be conceivable otherwise. An outside facilitator might also introduce you to new disciplines and structures to help revive your strategic goals and plans. Brio Leadership would be glad to talk to you about facilitating your year-end planning session.
Don’t fail to plan! Schedule your year-end strategic thinking meeting today!
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