While 2020 continues to challenge expectations, we need to plan for next year. Before looking ahead, however, let's assess this year:
𝑀𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑂𝑏𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑦 – It’s tempting to focus on everything bad OR good this year. You need to recognize both. As you build a list, be firm yet forgiving in order to learn (not penalize). Seek input from your team, clients, and advisors.
𝑅𝑒𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝐸𝑓𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑡 – This year, many people on your team suffered in unrecognizable ways yet stuck with the business. Recognize their valuable perseverance and reward your team appropriately, from candid gratitude to small gifts.
𝑅𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 – If your team found ways to care for yourself, consider formalizing them as benefits. Continue checking on everyone and addressing any issues. Discovering issues early makes them more manageable.
𝐹𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝐵𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 – I’m a huge fan of measuring progress and driving results. Simultaneously, I realize the strain of this year. Push for ambitious projects without overtaxing resources. Track metrics while also tracking motivation.
A solid foundation leads to growth.
Here are some considerations when planning and revisiting plans for next year:
𝐹𝑙𝑒𝑥𝑖𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦 – Overestimate expenses, underestimate revenues, and plan three scenarios: expected, high, and low. For the worst case, forcing hard decisions 𝗻𝗼𝘄 is slightly easier with some distance and perspective.
𝐶𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 – Review the budget more often than before, which gives you time to adapt and more options available.
𝐸𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 – Plan to test multiple new ideas in case of unexpected disruption.
𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 – Measure client engagement and designate someone to follow and share market trends regularly.
𝐵𝑢𝑑𝑔𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 – Keep expenses scalable, increasing only with revenues (e.g. tiered software and fractional resources).
𝑄𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 – Ask openly, “What if our plans don’t work, what next?” to prompt ideas before the stress of disaster.
𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 – Share plans and obstacles thus encouraging the team to take more responsibility solving problems.
𝑃𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑔𝑦 – Connect bonuses to success and consider new benefits for resilience (such as wellness programs).
Here’s to a better year because we’re better prepared.
Photo by Omer Salom who can be found on osalom.myportfolio.com