Planning for the year ahead is not just for ‘Type A’ people. Planning is really part of how we do what we do as leaders. It is part of a lifestyle of leadership, and great planning starts with great questions.
When it comes to planning, we encourage people to create a file, usually mid-way through the year. This is a file that you can constantly fill with ideas for the following calendar year. It’s a virtual bucket into which you throw any good idea you are pondering. It could also include articles, things that prompt your thinking, or even just little hand-written notes to self.
As you start to ease into the start of the year, begin to review that file. In order to really tackle the planning, you have got to identify the most important questions that are really going to move you forward.
Here are 10 questions to help you get started. I personally use these (among many others) in crafting my yearly plan document, which is in draft form by the start of work in January.
- How do I create the environment to position myself for my best work every day?
- How do we increase the financial health of the organization?
- How do we create excellence at the smallest level?
- Why should people work with us above everyone else?
- What can we simplify?
- What can we eliminate?
- What can we just stop doing that no one is really going to notice?
- Where are we manufacturing energy?
- What can we innovate?
- How can we achieve our annual goals in just one month?
As you continue to plan for this new year, I hope you are inspired to clarify the very best questions. And remember that the quality of your thinking is determined by the quality of your questions.
As you are in planning mode, if you need help creating a Strategy Statement for your organization, download our Strategy Statement tool by clicking here.