Saturday, February 15th, 2014
Plan to Win
My dad loves to watch basketball and played a mean game in his younger days. Daddy knows how to see the court, beat the defense and score some points. I love hearing stories of his school team making great plays and playing to win.
Does your business have a play book? Are you positioned to win? Do you and your team have clear goals and objectives to meet in the year ahead? Do you know how you will achieve those goals? Here is a simple process to guide you in creating and executing plans for excellence.
- Look at the scoreboard. It’s one thing to know your goals, but if you don’t know your starting point it will be difficult to connect the dots from where you are today to where you want to go. Evaluate today’s results and capture them into a simple scorecard for reference.
- Check the stats. What are the key components that make up the distance between today’s results and your goals? For example, if you are in the business of manufacturing and need to achieve new production levels, consider separating the gaps by type: such as process failures, mechanical/electrical breakdowns, raw material shortages, etc. Once you understand the major types that make up the distance between today’s results and your goals, you will be able to more clearly identify the work required to close those gaps.
- Select your key plays. Make plans specifically aimed to close the top gaps. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once. As you make progress in the top few, you will open space to move on to the next group.
- Position your players. Identify clear ownership of each line item, as well as the time and tools required to complete each step. A simple timeline to show when each item provides a great visual to see how much you and your organization are biting off all at once. If the load is too much in one period of time, consider shifting the timing for better balance.
- Run your plays. A well documented plan accomplishes nothing if just stuffed away in a desk. Post your plans in a visible location and execute them. Beware distractions that tempt you to frequently deviate from or delay your plans.
- Keep your head up. Schedule time to review progress against your plans and the results they delivered. Did you do what you said? If not, why not? Use the scorecard you created in step 1 to capture progress on each expected result. Did your plans achieve the desired results?
- Be flexible. If your plans did not achieve desired results, understand why, adjust your plan and move ahead. Perhaps it will help to reallocate resources or do something different than originally planned.
- And finally, keep playing. Be diligent to trust your team, run your plays, and score some points.
Plan to win. Prepare to win. Play to win!
To your success,