I love this season. Yes, Christmas and the New Year make for great holidays with my birthday nestled just prior; but, this is a business post. I’m talking about the transition from planning season to execution of energized plans.
We have found our investments in business planning to pay large dividends. Increased sales, improved margins, more effective execution, all start with effective planning.
But nothing good happens without execution. I love this season of the business cycle because it’s the transition from evaluating and planning into execution of our strategies. It’s like the first game of a sports season when you’ve visualized, conditioned and practiced; now time to compete.
While we compete all year ‘round, there is something special about the start of a new game, the test of your renewed preparation. You’re back and badder than before… in the good way.
Do you have clean and effective organizational discipline for putting your best laid plans into action?
Following are a few tips that will help you get traction on your business plans as the gun has sounded on the start of the new year.
Make Sure Each Team Member has Three to Five Objectives
A guiding principle here is that nobody can do everything, so you must help your staff set three to five priorities that each team member recognizes as most important. Ensure those priorities are clearly defined with measurable key results to track progress.
It’s best to work collaboratively with your team to set priorities. Share the company objectives, discuss how each employee contributes to the major goals and identify the top three to five objectives for each person that move the business to achieving its’ goals.
Build a Culture of Continuous Performance Management
Commit to investing in your employees’ success by maintaining an open channel of communication where you discuss progress on objectives, solicit feedback and make adjustments in real time. Brainstorm corrections where necessary and offer praise for progress.
A chronic issue I’ve observed in small businesses is a lack of effective performance management or sometimes lack of any performance management process at all. The key is to be intentional in open and frequent progress discussion with your employees and keep it helpful to the team member. Put a monthly “one on one” on the calendar with every employee that works directly for you and have any other managers in the company do the same.
Read a Good Book
I found some really good insights in “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr.
In M . What Matters, John Doerr offers a solid framework for setting Objectives and identifying Key Results, OKR’s, to help you move your business forward. Working with both our own OKR’s with the Crossroads Coaching team and with our client strategic planning, leads me to recommend this book as a helpful and good use of your down time.
The more I integrate John Doerr’s “OKR’s” approach into our business coaching practice, the more I like it. You will likely find some familiar concepts and suggestions in my blog posts going forward.
I’ve tried to keep this post concise in taking my own advice and just focus on three to five key priorities. Please do reach out and let me know if there may be value in a more detailed dive into the issues you face in your business.