It’s Only February & Workloads Are Crazy!

“It’s only February and I can’t believe how busy we are, I find there is just no time to plan because there’s too much to do!”  Have you said this recently?  I have been speaking with a number of clients and almost all of them have repeated the same thing, the new year sprint has started!

I have a question for you.  Are you doing the things that you should be doing?  Or are you doing the things that are just in front of you (or in your inbox) that you are reacting too.  I find that many people have started February fast, but when I ask them if they are working on the important things (or on the business activity) most realise that they need to take the time to do some planning.

If we never take time to look forward and identify ways to get more things done in less time (ie leverage processes, technology or people) then we will continue to spin our wheels and miss out on the opportunities that may be just in front of us.  The best way to plan is to gather key staff that can help you identify the opportunities in front of you, as well as the strategies to get there faster.

Gone are the days when the Senior Executive team travels to some resort for a 3 day retreat behind closed doors.  Unfortunately, this can isolate the rest of your people and most leaders don’t have time for that (not to mention the risk of airports and state borders being closed!)  So what are you doing to involve your people and start mapping your plan forward?

Here are a couple of things to consider when mapping your plan for the year (in writing):

Ask Staff for Potential Opportunities.  Staff have great ideas and many of them will be aware of opportunities that exist, but as it is outside their area of responsibility the idea (and opportunity) just disappears.  Find a way to ask them to get their ideas for the plan forward. 

Have Them Participate in Identifying the Plan.  Develop a process to have your people participate in sharing ideas.  This gets their buy-in and engagement as well as helps them get ready to implement these ideas when executing the plan (such a simple step, but most leaders skip it!)  

Use a Process that Saves Time!  Remember to use a facilitated Planning Process to get more ideas faster. Compression Planning is a great technique to make this happen.  If you would like some ideas on how to engage your people in a faster planning process, please click here.

As the new year starts to take off I wish you and your team the best.  Remember to be the leader that inspires others!