There are many processes taught for strategic planning in business. Some are very detailed and in-depth, while others are very simple and create a basic framework for moving forward. Regardless of what process you use, it’s very tempting, especially after a tough year, to just forget the past year or sweep it under the rug. It feels so much better to just move on.
Not so fast.
Your past performance should be used to drive your future performance. Ask the following questions BEFORE you lay out your plan for the new year. These questions will help you face your performance, good and bad, and tap into the “WHY” behind your actions:
1. What Goals and Milestones did we achieve in the last year?
Some owners fail to take the time to go back and recognize the success
they’ve achieved over the past year. Take some time to recognize
those who have helped you achieve your goals and milestones.
2. What difference has this made in your business?
Quantify the financial and emotional impact. Hitting a goal is one
thing, talking about what hitting that goal has provided in another.
3. What didn’t you achieve that you had intended to achieve?
Now for the not-so- fun part. Open up the wound so you can
thoroughly clean it out! Make a list so you can see the areas that
didn’t work or need to be addressed.
4. Why not?
Now it’s time for ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
Clearly answer WHY things didn’t happen the way they should have. If
you find yourself blaming others, making excuses, or in a state of
denial…STOP. Take a look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.
5. What has been the impact to you and the business?
Quantify the financial and emotional impact. Are you OK with the way
things turned out?
6. What changes will I make in order to impact the business and my life
in a more positive way in the coming year?
Take all of the emotion and energy from the last 5 questions, both
positive and negative, and make a list of the changes you will be
making for 2017. If the list is longer than 10 items, you may want to
focus in on your top 5….be realistic.
7. What haven’t you finished that you need to carry over and continue
Just as important, make a list of what you need to stop doing!
Master Business Coach and Executive Coach