It’s the beginning of a fiscal year. A year from now you’d like to look back on the last 12 months and be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Is that even possible in our changing environment? Can I create a plan that not only motivates me, but motivates all the people who work for me?
I know what you’re thinking. . .
“Maybe if I owned my own business, I could make plans!”
“If I work with blinders on, maybe I can just keep pluggin’ away and not pay attention to all the changes happening around me.”
It’s not easy. In this changing world, is there any point in trying to plan? The answer is a resounding YES! But the planning has to be smart. Consider these points.
Set Priorities. As of today, what are the priorities of your organization? The basic priorities probably won’t change much over the year, so think high level priorities and write them down.
Focus Energy. In every job, there are lots of things we do that sap us of energy, but really don’t move the organization forward. So what we are talking about here, is focusing on the items that have more to do with the overall health of the organization, rather than your particular job.
Identify Resources and Strength Operations. Identify the high level priorities and decide where your energies should be spent. Look around your organization and beyond for resources that can help. Are there groups or departments who can help you strengthen your talents and accomplish a goal? Is there an individual with particular skills who can help develop those same skills throughout your department? Should you go outside your organization? Sometimes training is best accomplished by someone from the outside. A third-party resource may not have preconceived notions on what you should learn. Instead, outside resources are generally better at listening to you and coming up with the training customized to your needs.
Establish Common Goals. We all have different work to do, but our goals can be universal. Knowing what my part is in reaching a goal helps me keep on track. And measuring the activity leading up to the goal can remind me each month of the importance of the goal.
Assess and Adjust. When the organization takes a turn, you can adjust your priorities, energy, resources and goals. Chances are, you’ll only need to adjust them slightly, making everyone feel better about the change in the organization.
Measure Accomplishments. As each quarter winds down, focus on what you have been successful in achieving. On a daily basis, we sometimes feel like we’re going in circles. But when we look at a 3 month period, it’s fulfilling to see how far we’ve come.
Strategic planning depends on a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it – with a focus on the future. Measuring action items is critical. See our tip on measuring strategic plans.
For more information on how Leah M. Joppy & Associates can be your resource for training, give us a call at (301) 670-0051. Or take a look at the training opportunities on our website.