by Becky Morgan
Three steps to getting a jump on the competition: Make your 2016 plan now—while others coast through the holiday seasons.
We’re rounding the final turn of 2015. This is no time to take your foot off the gas. Instead accelerate as others coast during hunting and holiday seasons.
These three acceleration opportunities are yours for the taking, and all three can be completed before lunch:
1. Deﬁne your operations focus for 2016.
• To work on that during 1Q 2016 wastes 25% of the year you intend to advance and saps resources unnecessarily.
• What is the most significant aspect of performance you must improve during 2016? By how much?
• What are the top three actions you must take to reach that objective?
• What is the next most significant aspect of performance you must improve?
• What is the top one action you must take to reach that objective?
If you think putting that together takes time, you’re wrong. The job of leadership is to lead. If your team can’t answer those questions in under an hour, you will answer them in under an hour. An operations team that doesn’t know the business and its operations well enough to do that takes us quickly to the next acceleration advance.
2. Identify which of your leaders has reached the peter principle?
• A strong leader can switch positions with anyone else on your team and improve performance there as well.
• A currently acceptable leader can continue to meet demands for his current role if annual revenue increases or decreases more than 25% compared to plan.
• A Peter Principle leader is already stretched, having at least a year in the role.
• Develop a specific one-point development plan for each who is growing, and a simple plan to replace those that cannot.
If you think that is the responsibility of HR, you’re wrong. If you think it’s cold-blooded, you’re wrong. The future of many inside and outside your organization depends on your willingness and ability to develop a team for the future. I didn’t say fire the one who has topped out, but I did say you owe more to yourself and others. That person can contribute elsewhere, and if not, will be better off moving out of the organization.
3. Document on your calendar the weekly 1Q 2016 behaviors you will execute to assure effective progress on identiﬁed acceleration.
Yes, identifying a limited number of important priorities supported by a limited number of clear activities and follow up can create an amazingly successful 2016.
Waiting until after the holidays, then scheduling multiple meetings, and allowing numerous priorities and actions for all will assure a distant finish in 2016.
As Mario Andretti famously said: “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” That does NOT mean be reckless.
It means stretch. Constantly.
Including right now.