There’s still one quarter yet to finish for 2013, yet we are already focusing on what will begin ninety days from now. That’s what leaders do, after all!
Typically, the prospect of a new calendar year is exciting. A business can reflect on what has happened in the current year, sort out the gains from the pains, and plan, with eager anticipation, how to capitalize on those gains while eliminating the pains.
The above, however, no longer applies to our companies. Between our nine organizations, five of which are small operating companies, only one of them meets the employee minimum for the Affordable Care Act, yet all of them will be impacted by it. And, to make things more interesting, we do not yet know when or how. Thank you, elected officials, for your incompetency.
As I reflect on how powerful this outside influence, or threat, is to the future of our organizations, I repeat the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things that I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
We will prepare for the new year by changing the things that we can. To do that, we will once again rely on our staff—every single individual—and on the movers and shakers of our Vision Team, which is comprised of the most outgoing members throughout all of our organizations, to succeed.
Here is how we will work on changing the things that we can:
1. Our organizations will each have one-on-one meetings with staff to ask for input on what we did well, what we could have done better, and how leadership can help each person do better in the future.
2. We will hold a series of Vision Team meetings, wherein members from all the organizations will meet to discuss one company at a time. The discussions will involve gathering the meeting participants’ visions on where the particular company under discussion could be in 12 months. We will brainstorm on how to implement.
3. We will then hold change meetings wherein the participants will sift through the visions and prioritize the implementation of ideas that can realistically be accomplished. After that, we will identify timelines and project leaders for the green-lighted vision projects.
4. We will analyze our markets and competitors to determine what opportunities may exist.
5. We will hold customer appreciation parties to gather feedback for improvement in 2014.
6. We will consult outside advisors to determine which areas of our companies need improvement.
7. We will plan our 2013 celebration.
A leader has only one brain and is limited by their experience within the organization. I am a firm believer in multiple perspectives. Planning must include everyone in and around the organization, and that includes clients, vendors and advisors. Often times, our front line staff knows more about our organization than our team leaders do, which makes those front line people invaluable to this process. Everyone should be involved because everyone has a unique and important viewpoint to add to the preparation and evaluation process.