fbpx The 4th quarter of each year for most businesses marks the start of strategy-making, planning, and budgeting. Some business leaders simply adjust last year’s budget by a few percentage points and impose it on their teams, but that’s an antiquated approach that’s sure to alienate team members and result in more of the same outcomes. Business leaders can and should do better! Planning is equal parts science and art. There’s not a right way to do it, but the act of planning is often times what generates the positive business results (not the plan itself). That’s good news for novice planners because you can start preparing for 2016 by reflecting on a few open-ended questions.
  1. What are the top 3 most important challenges our business will face next year?
  2. What are the revenue and profitability expectations?
  3. What resource changes are expected next year?
  4. What external conditions are changing in our market?
  5. What do my employees need to be successful next year?
Answering these questions will create a basic perspective on your organization’s future that can serve as an important foundation to creating awareness, understanding, commitment, and buy-in from your team. It’s important to be transparent with your organization about the upcoming year’s objectives so teams and individuals can align their goals and behaviors accordingly. If your people are unaware or don’t understand the organization’s goals, then you cannot be disappointed if they aren’t meeting your expectations. The best way to put your plan into action is to ensure your people are prepared to help!