As the year draws to a close, it’s always a good time to reflect. The end of another year and the imminent start of the next is a perpetual cycle, and there’s certain things that you should be doing with your team. The end of the year for me drives 4 key actions: remember, reflect, plan, engage. You might want to do the same!
Remember: Within the broader division that I work within, we’re gathering together the many events that summarise the year for us. We’re then going to compile a montage of the best achievements of the many different teams that make up our division, and share the video at our last town hall of the year. It’s a great way to celebrate the achievements of our people, and even better, to thank those teams who supported us in achieving our highs and successes.
No matter how much has happened, and how much more you need to do before the year end, taking a little time to remember what you did, and to thank those for the success and milestones you collectively achieved.
Reflect: As you’re remembering what you achieved, and how the teams worked together to drive business success, it’s almost just as important to display some real humility. What did you not achieve? What didn’t quite go according to plan? Where did you impede someone else’s plans? It’s not about beating yourself up – that’s a pointless exercise. It’s about understanding what didn’t work so that you can reflect on the changes you might make to achieve greater success next year.
Be pragmatic, remove the emotion and observe why some parts of the year were not so successful – in this way, you can avoid the same mistakes going forward.
Plan: I assume your plan for next year is finished? Outcomes set, milestones defined, goals communicated? No? Well best you crack on!! With the fresh learnings of success and challenges from this year, why wait until January to plan? In the worst instance, I’ve seen businesses waste the first quarter in planning and defining and reaching agreement. If you don’t have clarity on what you need to achieve next year, talk to your boss.
Using the time now to set the expectations for 1st January means that thanks to a decent plan, you’ll start the year running, giving you the maximum amount of time to achieve your plan!
Engage: Anyone who reads my posts will know I’m all about the engagement. Whether it’s customers, peers, clients or suppliers, engagement is key to success. No plan ever worked without getting other people involved. With your reflections on the current year and plans for the next year, the invaluable additional step is to engage your team, peers, clients and suppliers in some detail of the plan. You’ll ensure that you have alignment, you’ll set expectations and may well see some refinements or enhancements to be made, based on the feedback given.
When you engage those who need to be involved in your plans, and work with them to building collaboration and understanding, you’ll dramatically increase your chance of success next year.
So if you have not yet started, it’s time to remember, reflect, plan, engage so that you and your teams can start the New Year with a bang!