You may have spent hours or even days developing your annual business plan… now what? The logical answer is a comprehensive communications plan so the business plan is shared with the entire organization, right? This sounds easy enough but does not answer the “why” and the “how.” Understanding the “why” will give us the “how.”
“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” Howard Aiken, computing pioneer, IBM
Ask any business executive how many times they need to repeat a strategic message before it is effectively absorbed by their organization and their eyes will roll. In one of my recent conversations, the number was “17.” This may seem exaggerated but it’s consistent with my experience. The ways in which you communicate are equally important. There are more opportunities than you may think:
And finally, “rinse and repeat” - this is not a linear exercise. Communicating your business plan and strategic vision is an ongoing interactive process of learning, development, and growth for your employees – all of them.
December is a time to celebrate the successes of the past year, reflect on failures, and recharge for the coming year. How well have you done? Whether company-wide or departmental, your strategic plan (or functional business plan) tells the tale. The scoreboard doesn’t lie.
Even if you are not at your fiscal year-end, it’s important to take a serious look at your plan to determine what you’ve done well and what needs to change. In fact, your plan should be reviewed at least once a quarter so that proactive adjustments can occur regularly. True leaders know that success is not accidental, but rather, it occurs incrementally through consistent and deliberate efforts.
What do I mean by “recharge?"
Being “recharged” is mostly a state of mind. Recharging provides a source of intellectual energy that powers you through the toughest challenges and helps you consistently achieve your goals. The effectiveness of a recharged mind comes from a heightened sense of clarity of what needs to occur, in what order, and the determination to follow through on all strategies and tactics.
Start by clearing your mind of the clutter that’s collected over the last twelve months. A significant amount of your time is spent on the details of running your business, and for good reason. However, business success requires a certain amount of business improvement time: what I call “working on your business.” Without it, it is just more of the same thing over and over – and that’s not much of a plan.
Clearing out mental clutter!
1. Be realistic about your successes and failures. There is nothing wrong with failures, but understanding them is the key to sustainable success. To what degree did you succeed or fail? What were the contributing factors? What can you improve or change?
2. What are the strategies that proved to be winners over the past 12 months? Analyze the data and facts for proof. Reapply these strategies for the coming year (but first, confirm that these strategies continue to be aligned with strategic goals and objectives).
3. Reset your strategic goals and objectives. Don’t automatically assume numbers need to go up or go down. Make well informed plans by examining your entire business picture, the business environment around you, and the impacts and relationships between the two.
4. Determine what stays the same and what you will change. No magic here – just get it done!
Finally, don’t complicate things by over-thinking! You’ve already got most (if not all) the answers – you just need to take some time to think them through.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
SKYE Business Solutions helps leaders discover their purpose: the driving force behind your organization’s ability to achieve. Purpose empowers leaders to recognize value; creating a culture of engagement, contribution, and trust. SKYE propels your leadership to the next level: pushing through the ordinary to unlock the full potential throughout all levels of your organization.