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Cartwheel or crawl into 2021 - your choice

Cartwheel or crawl into 2021 - your choice

Nicola Hopes

15 December 2020

Usually at this time of year I spend lots of time looking forward.

Coaching clients finalising their team vision for next year. Or preparing their keynote speech to inspire record performance from their business or department.

Or consulting with clients on development plans for their future leaders. Or helping clients who just can’t decide which exciting change project is next.

But this year is different. There’s far more ‘here and now’ activity that’s taking up my time. And it’s concerning me.

In an article in Management Today this month they quote ex-England cricketer and founder of the consultancy ‘Sporting Edge’, Jeremy Snape as saying:

“The very best performers are spending 80 per cent of their time executing perfectly in the short term

but they're also spending 20 per cent of their time looking at what's coming next.”

But right now, I think it’s more like 95-5.

I’m seeing high level plans and targets for 2021 but where’s the inspiring vision?

Even if the plan for world domination needs a re-think due to business conditions, let’s not just reduce it to ‘do these things and cross your fingers’.

Perhaps we just don’t know which 2021 to plan for?

Is it the one where Brexit transitions beautifully and we step towards a thriving British and European eutopia? Where the COVID vaccine roll out is handled like Oprah was in charge? Where businesses are able to dynamically and creatively manage their business model to maintain employment and care for the wellbeing of their staff?

Or is it the one where nobody quite knows what EU rules have changed? Lockdown remains high in large swathes of the country because testing and vaccine plans stall? And we see businesses fold with the resultant impact on unemployment and mental health?

Or will it be a bit of both?

From the same article:

“We would all have had three to five-year business plans.

Now we might have three to five-month business plans.

The long-term aspiration might be the same,

but the tactics that you need to get there are going to be very different in the short term”.

So there is a manageable alternative to just plan and hope for the best – that ‘aspiration’.

Something to excite. Galvanise. Rally.

From the top re-boot

This won’t take weeks of reflection or endless virtual workshops (please no!).

It’s as simple as answering the following questions:

  1. What do you want to be able to do differently next year and why does it matter? Who will care about it and what will they feel / think?

  1. How are you going to take the team with you? How will you engage and equip your people?

  1. How are you going to track and reward success in a changing market?

  1. What scenarios might affect your industry in the year (positive and negative) and what would you do about it?

  1. Is it clear who’s in charge of what and why? Who are you giving an opportunity to step up? Who has the skills to inspire?

Then you can create a 2021 vision to get excited about.

And we all need one of those.

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