(Note:  Thought you might find this post valuable that I originally posted on my blog at theamsight.com.)

When you begin the year basking in the post planning afterglow (ok, maybe that’s just me), it’s easy to have crystal clear clarity on your goals, objectives and the priorities for the year.  Widely Important Goals?  Check!  Key objectives set?  Check!  Laser focus?  Check, check, check!

And then life happens.

It’s far too easy for important, strategic goals to get hijacked by those urgent “now” demands that consume most of our days.

Whether you’re a solopreneuer, a CEO, or a team leader, now is the perfect time to revisit, re-evaluate and recommit to those crucial goals.

To make it easier, I’ve identified the following four steps in this review process.  I’ve also provided two templates you’ll want to make sure you download.  

 

  • Recommit to Goals
  • Refine Actions
  • Create Capacity
  • Operationalize Reviews

RECOMMIT TO GOALS:

The first step in the review process is to recommit to your goals.  First, you want to make sure those goals still serve you.  Business moves fast and to be agile, you must identify whether the “why” of your goal is still relevant.  The strategic plan review template is a great tool to help you and your team reassess and if appropriate, recommit to the goals that matter the most for the balance of the year.

“He who has a WHY can bear any HOW.”

— Dr. Frankl

Click to Download Spreadsheet Template

This template includes very detailed instructions, but basically, it’s designed to help you identify the critical few goals you want to commit to and focus on achieving.  The steps are:

 

 

  • Evaluating the Goals:  Review the strategic objectives or annual objectives you set at the beginning of the planning period.  Are these still essential to achieving your most important organizational goal?  If so, why?  Are there new goals or opportunities that need consideration?  As a team, rate how critical each of these objectives is to achieve the overall organizational goal.
  • Uncover the Critical Few Goals:  My rating system combines the weighting of “how important the goal/project is to achieving the overall strategic goal of the organization” and “likelihood of executing in the current year.”  (For the critical few goals/objectives you determine from this evaluation, you will develop a 12-week action plan in the next phase of this review process.)
  • Risk Assessment:  For those goals you’ve deemed critical to success, there will always be challenges and risks.   Take this opportunity to think about what those risks might be, how you can mitigate those risks and how you will respond should the risks materialize despite your best efforts.  Simply the process of thinking through these risks will be tremendously valuable to your team.

NOTE:  Don’t do this evaluation in isolation if you work with a team.  It’s most valuable when performed with your teammates.


REFINE ACTIONS:

For the goals you’ve identified as the critical few, you will create a 12-week action plan to create clarity and accountability for what can be done over the next three months to get you closer to achieving your goals.

In this 12-week Action Plan template, you will determine the key steps, due dates, and the lead measures you want to track for each goal/project.  You may not be able to achieve your goals in 12 weeks, so only focus on what you can do in the next 12 weeks to make the progress you need to make.

Click to Download Template

 

  • What are lead measures?  Lead measures are those actions you take each day or week that create momentum to help you ultimately achieve your goal.  For instance, if your goal were to lose 10 lbs, you will be far more successful if you track your daily exercise (lead measure) or your daily calorie intake (lead measure) than if you just track your actual weight loss (lag measure).
  • Why a 12-week action plan?  What if you have more than 12 weeks to achieve your goals?  I find that 12-week action plans strike the right balance between the sense of urgency and flexibility necessary to execute.  12-week action plans are digestible without being overwhelming.  The idea is to focus and create momentum, not generate an elaborate long-term project plan.

CREATE CAPACITY:

We are very good at adding things to our to do list.  What we must become great at is continually creating margin and the capacity to focus on those most important goals/projects.  A few ways to create capacity include:

 

  • Meetings.  Review your recurring meetings.  What meetings can you change from weekly to bi-weekly?  Are there hour-long meetings you can change to 45 minutes?  Are there meetings you can send a teammate to or alternate attendance?  Are there meetings you can cancel until you need them again?
  • Projects.  Are there projects you are working on that no longer serve you?  Are there projects that have no clear, direct line to your most important strategic goals?  Can you press “pause” for now?
  • Processes.  Do you have processes that take up far too much of your time?  Can you automate repeatable processes (possibly with Zapier, for instance)?    Where are the bottlenecks and what can you do now to remove them and release more of your time?

OPERATIONALIZE REVIEWS:

The last step of this review process is to incorporate a review cadence into your normal operations.   For example:

 

  • Each week, as part of your weekly team meetings and each month, update progress on the 12-week Action Plan.  What can you celebrate?  Are there areas where you (or team) need help?  Where is your progress in jeopardy?
  • Quarterly or at least semi-annually revisit the “Strategic Review Plan” Template to ensure you are working on the strategic goals that are critical to your business.

 

Life happens.  You can’t control that.  But you can use this process and these tools to help you respond in a way that is intentional and in alignment with your most important strategic goal!

Please share your feedback and let me know if you have any questions regarding the templates or process outlined by emailing me at info@theaminsight.com.

Work well,

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