So let me ask you a question “What is your plan for the year?” I recently asked this question to a business leader, her response really surprised me. She mentioned that because of the lingering pandemic, the leadership team had decided to wait on developing their strategy until after the first quarter of the year.
To me, when things have been so uncertain, to completely let go of the way forward and getting everyone going in the same direction is even more important. Many employees have enjoyed the break over the holidays and now are looking for some sense of direction. Even in uncertain conditions, it is important that leaders have a vision and a plan and communicate this to their people. Without a goal to focus on, people will drift which usually leads to unfocused activity and potential opportunities being missed.
History is a great teacher. If you look at many of the leading companies after the great depression, the majority of them took off during the end of the financial hardship because the leaders looked for opportunities and mobilised their people to take advantage of these opportunities before others.
Here are a couple of things to consider when mapping your plan for the year (in writing!):
Look for Opportunities. There are always opportunities that come up that others don’t see. It could be a new product, service or even a completely new business unit that takes advantage of the shift in economic trends. Just look at the businesses making plastic shields for retail businesses, or masks or any of the other products. This is also the case in property, people feared a crash and in most locations the opposite has happened with people working from home wanting a sea or tree change, which has now pushed property prices up!
Involve Your People in Identifying Opportunities & the Plan. A number of brains are always stronger than just one. Also involving your people gets them engaged to implement opportunities and the plan of action that needs to be taken. Remember to have a facilitated Planning Process to get more ideas faster. Compression Planning is a great technique to make this happen.
Remember the Plan is a Framework. With economic uncertainty it is important that your plan has a framework. This means that it should be flexible enough to shift and tailor it to take advantage of new opportunities (and challenges) that may appear. So take a few moments to map out your plan for the year. Get your people involved with potential opportunities and you will be ready to spring forward this year (while others wait until the next 3-6 months). If you would like some ideas on how to engage your people in a faster planning process, using a technique called Compression Planning, please click here.