Continuity Brings Focus in the New Year

Linda Dulye's picture
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circle arrows.jpgEffective teams and organizations use a closed-loop approach to ensure that each objective, project or event is reviewed to track progress and final outcomes. The first of the year is an ideal time to close your open loops.

Here’s an example. One of the most common goals facing organizations in 2009 was the need to cut costs and boost efficiency. Chances are, your organization had those objectives front and center. In the next week, meet with your team and ask these questions about last year’s goals:

  • Ask. How did we do in achieving our goal? What worked? What could we do better? What setbacks did we face? Ask these questions of your team before weighing in yourself to ensure you don’t influence the employees’ input.
  • Share. Will achieving this goal extend into the new year? Explain why.
  • Explain. If the goal applies in 2010, are the targets or parameters the same? Are cost-reduction goals higher or lower? Why?

  • Listen. Take a few moments to absorb the feedback from your team on how best to hit these goals. Be sure to get comments from team members that came onboard later in the year.

Is this the time and place for a leadership message? Absolutely. You’ll want to clarify the goals, explain team member’s roles and articulate you vision of success. But overall this should be a conversation, not a lecture.

Build on your success and lessons learned from last year and you’ll shape a breakthrough 2010.

For more, listen to our SFW Podcast episode on this topic.

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