Changes of season are often times of reassessment and reinvigoration. Though it will not officially be autumn until September 22, most of us have already left summer initiatives behind and begun or completed plans for the fall.
Sometimes, however, in the eagerness to move forward, we fail to take an in-depth look at the period coming to a close. We may track key benchmarks, adjust our strategies and come up with a workable plan. But this evaluation, done repeatedly throughout the year, can become stale. The good news? There are ways to keep it fresh.
Much of what goes on quarter to quarter is constant, yet each period presents different conditions and issues, even if only subtle. Never assume you know all the factors that contributed to successes and failures. Each situation is new and needs to be approached with that awareness.
One way to make sure you do an in-depth analysis is to involve other people in the process. These could be colleagues, people outside of your company or a combination. The advantage of brainstorming with co-workers is that they have inside knowledge of your company's inner workings, issues and goals. Alternatively, people outside of your organization might spot areas to examine that you and your cohorts would never have noticed.
In forming your team, select people you can relax with and whose ideas will stimulate your own. You need to feel safe to let your thoughts flow in a constructive manner. If you have regular team meetings where you debrief with colleagues, the mix of personalities might not be ideal for you. But you can make it work. Just be prepared.
Do a preliminary analysis beforehand, highlighting new factors that came into play, what went well, what problems arose, what you did and why, and what should be examined further.
Also, when brainstorming, sometimes just changing the order in which you address key goals will elicit fresh thinking. Don't worry about being perfect; the key is to be fully present. Don't try to hide anything from yourself or fool yourself, and no matter who is examining results with you, own up to your mistakes. Use them as learning opportunities not only for you, but also for your colleagues.
It's also worth noting that lack of organization negatively affects planning, execution and analysis. When this is the case, one solution is to employ a project management tool. Here are a few websites that list to pros and cons of what they consider to be 2021's top project management offerings:
Whatever you choose to do, give it your best effort. When you are fully informed regarding your recent successes and failures, you can positively impact your bottom line while also improving the lives of those you serve.
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