Include everyone in your top team in the creation of the real plan that’s going to drive the business for the next year

1. Include everyone in your top team in the creation of the real plan that’s going to drive the business for the next year.  They have a chance to let you know how things look from their perspective and you have the benefit of their experience and insight.  We’ve learned time and again the truth of the adage that people will not destroy what they have helped to create.

2.  Review what happened in the past and learn from it. Start with a thorough review of the past year—what did we achieve together and where did we fail?

First focus on achievements—just the good news. It’s easy to focus on issues and problems to the exclusion of achievements and successes.

Then consider those areas where you came short of your goals. This exercise has nothing to do with pointing fingers and everything to do with creating a realistic picture of the current status of the team and the business.

Finally, discover the lessons from what happened and align on the top three that would make the most difference to your success.

3.  Examine limiting assumptions and shift them. The most challenging job is to tackle the limiting beliefs that drive the entire business—they shape culture.  You’ve got to shift limiting attitudes or paradigms to those that generate the culture and vision you want to produce together.  The right attitude generates excitement, commitment and buy-in that shows in every area of their work as individuals and as a team.

4.  Align on the top team priorities at every level of the business. Ask each person on the top team to identify the one or two priorities for their area of responsibility and to present those to the entire team and explain their choices.  Once all the goals have been presented, together select the top ten goals for the year.  Although all goals may be pursued, your team will benefit from a focus on the ten that most ensure overall success.

5.  Establish monthly review sessions to monitor progress and learn from what happens.  Anyone can make a plan, but executing it to get the desired results is where the breakdown usually occurs.  The most important discipline to ensure success—no matter what—is a monthly review session that checks progress against the plan.  This is what drives teams to produce results.

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