By: Wilma Slenders
Another New Year’s Day has come and gone. We’ve written our resolutions and now that it is more than half way through January, how many resolutions have been kept? If you’re like most, the number is small. We’ve already moved on, vowing to do better, next time, next year.
This is a lot like the strategic planning that many organizations undertake. They take time to review and evaluate their previous year’s strategy, create new plans for the next year, add timelines and responsibilities, then…do very little, vowing to do better next time, next year.
Why does this happen? Is it due to a lack of desire to act on plans; an inability to move forward; identifying activities that are overwhelmingly difficult, complex, or too many; or a lack of competence that prevents us from taking action on our New Year’s resolutions or organization’s strategic plan?
Strategic plans and New Year’s resolutions are meant to create change. Like any change, we need to be ready, willing, and able. Being ready means knowing that change is required. Being willing is having the desire to create the change and make the transition. Being able is having the competency to do what is required or know how to access people and resources that can assist and support.
Oftentimes we take on more than we can handle and when we don’t experience immediate success, we give up. This then becomes our reality, repeated behaviour leading to failure. We get used to this and start to go through the motions having little to no commitment to the outcome.
How can you create more commitment to your plans both individually and at an organizational level? My advice is to apply focused attention to the situation.
- Pick a few key areas (3 – 5 maximum) to focus on, break them down into small, measurable chunks, and stick to them until completed. Minor set backs are to be expected. Work on the first few, complete them and then move on.
- Celebrate success. When you’ve accomplished a goal or achieved your target, give yourself a pat on the back or a more tangible reward.
- Create a monitoring and measurement process so that you don’t reach the end of the year realizing that little has been accomplished. Review your resolutions and your plans once a month or quarter to see where progress has been made. Change them, if required.
What’s holding you or your organization back from reaching your goals and achieving your desired level of excellence?
If you’d like to create change as a leader within your organization, Transcend offers executive coaching services to leaders at all levels, as well as facilitation of meaningful and sustainable strategic planning processes. For a discussion about your organization’s needs, contact us at 403.547.7900 or Wilma@transcendmgt.com.