What On Earth Are You Doing Now?
Do you have a plan? If not, how are you going to get one?
Leadership is about more than ensuring you and your board, team and company are all focused on the same true north. It is more than talking about mission and vision and checking the financials. It involves EQ, practical skills, experience, knowledge, and passion. Yet it all becomes irrelevant if your team loses confidence and clarity in the plan for the business.
Business planning is a crucial tool, not the result of a single day or off-site document which is dropped into a drawer and forgotten. It needs review and revision especially in a highly changeable environment, like now. In my work with leaders, we discuss the reason the plan isn’t or wasn’t executed and what to do about it. We reach conclusions, outcomes and actions to fill the team with confidence, purpose, and direction. We challenge and debate the strategies and ensure that they’re measured.
To guide your business planning, I suggest you do the following:
1. Get the right people in the room for a realistic amount of time
2. Explain what the day is about – the purpose
3. Ask for preparation and commitment
4. Ensure you have an engaged and committed, skilled facilitator (don’t do it yourself, the elephant stays in the room)
Then address the following:
QUESTION 1: What do you want to get out of today?
This enables a discussion on individuals, their preparation, and immediate concerns. It also encourages a reassuring conversation regarding safety and accountability. As a facilitator I already have a plan prepared, with a PowerPoint, agenda and full runsheet. That’s my job, I’m there to ask questions and work with the group to find solutions, address issues and find outcomes so that at the end of the day, we have a revised plan, confidence in the business and renewed passion to “get down to work”.
Often we complete the agenda with only a few variations. Currently however, those agendas and runsheets are being used less and less. The reason? There are other more important topics to address on the day which didn’t exist when we scheduled the event.
QUESTION 2: Shall we stick to the plan or amend it?
This is where I get to see the decision-making ability or inability of the team. How do they agree on the next step? Do they need help? Is someone the clear leader on that topic? This is how we work through the priorities and decide what to do next.
QUESTION 3: Do we need to address decision-making strategies or shall we return to the agenda?
There are many opportunities to consider how you work with your team – whether you’re leading or following, inspiring or exhausted, listening and engaged. Have you got a plan? What does it look like and who knows about it?
I don’t do my job by pointing fingers; I do my job by asking good questions and the questions today are:
• Do you have a plan?
• Is it relevant? Is it transparent?
• Do you need to revise it?
• Do you have problems with decision making?
• What are YOU going to do about it?