It’s annual planning time and I’m hoping that you and your team are well underway. We just completed our planning session and it was extremely worthwhile. Here are some tips on making this time successful:
Include Your Staff in the Planning Process
After all, they are the people who are going to make the plan happen. Let them be a part of the success. This involvement shows your team members that you appreciate their input and that you respect their knowledge.
Set Aside Enough Time
We set aside 1.5 days for the actual meeting and this is after each member of the team has invested several hours planning. In our firm, this includes asking each employee for their wish list for the coming year. Every single employee included the opportunity for increased learning on their wish list. Some asked for funds to allow certifications to be earned. Other wish list items ranged from a new printer to technology that would help us better serve our clients.
Review Information Ahead of Time
This is important so that you can dive into the actual planning. It’s more productive to get reports and forecasts distributed ahead of the meeting.
Use a Facilitator
Even though we facilitate these kinds of meetings for our clients, we wanted an impartial outsider to facilitate this meeting. He was in charge of running the meeting fairly and kept it on time. He also challenged if he sensed push back on an activity or a commitment.
Set Firm Commitments to Action
Once you’ve agreed on a project or a new initiative, answer these questions:
- Who is the champion? This doesn’t mean that the champion had to DO all of the work, but the champion is in charge of gathering all of the information needed and making sure that the commitment is reached.
- What is the goal?
- What resources will be needed to complete it?
- What does the deliverable look like?
- What is the deadline for completion?
After two days of deep thinking about the direction of the business, we were all drained, but excited! We had done great work as a team, everyone had ownership of one or more initiatives, and all were engaged throughout. There’s a great deal of work to do now to meet our commitments to one another but we will do it. And 2013 is going to be fantastic!
To read our new vision and mission statement, modified as the first step in our annual planning process, click here.
Need help with your annual planning process? Call on Remodelers Advantage! Our team of experts can help you and your team develop a plan that will rock 2013! Just drop us an email or give us a call to learn more today. 301-490-5620