Strategic Planning Template: Year End Considerations

In Part 2 of my blog series on Reflection and Goal Setting, I examine the Six Considerations for Xponents as we prepare to leap into the New Year by remembering the best of who we are, what we have learned, and what we are hearing from others.  Use these six considerations as a strategic planning template, as you prepare for the next stage.  Next week in Part 3, I will explore what we will bring with us into the New Year and the goals that will support our ongoing growth and evolution.

  1.  Your Product/Service – At Xponents we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.  We will continue to develop our products based on what our customers need.  We determine customer s’ needs by listening to them and looking at consistent themes we see across various industries and groups.  There is clearly a call for more virtual programs to minimize travel expense.  Watch for announcements in the first quarter on which programs we have migrated onto a virtual platform.  You will also hear us talking more about The Power of Why; Bringing Vision, Values, Purpose, and Mission to Work.
  2. Your Customer – Customers are laser focused on minimizing cost while maximizing learning opportunities.  Requests for virtual programs are on the rise.  At Xponents we continue to look for ways to deliver virtually when it makes sense through the use of blogs, web conferencing, and other means.  We will also stay focused on ways to harness the rich knowledge and experience of the baby boomers and provide solutions to support developing future leaders.  The window of opportunity to address the leadership gap that the retiring baby boomers will create in the next several years is now.  I also see opportunities to enhance communication and coaching skills in managers to improve engagement, reduce turnover, and drive performance.  Many experienced managers today seem to be struggling to identify what is important to their team.  Teaching managers how to coach individual values is a huge opportunity that will dramatically impact results.
  3.  Your Message– In the New Year we will continue to be the company that facilitates authentic conversations in the workplace.  It is why our newsletter is called Exposed.  Authentic conversations are the key to building trust, focusing attention on the right priorities, and shifting behaviors that create transformational changes.  Our mission is to model that transparency and authenticity in everything we do.
  4.  Your People – During the planning process we identify developmental and training opportunities.  For myself, I budget each year to attend training for a new certification, or to enhance my skills to better serve my customers.   Each of us determines what we need to become more effective and successful, and while I can offer suggestions it is a personal decision.  I am in the process now of asking each of my team what they want or need in terms of professional development.  For myself, I’m leaning toward gaining certification for the Leadership Circle assessment this year.  I also would value attending the training by Christina Baldwin on circle dialogue.  Last year I attended facilitator training with Arnie and Amy Mindell and I would certainly benefit from more work with that amazing duo.  While there is always room for each of us to grow and develop, I feel confident that I have the right team in place to hit the ground running in 2012, both in terms of internal employees and through alliance partnerships that have been strengthened this past year.
  5.  Your Money – I made some purchases this year to update our systems and software.  We purchased a new server, two new desktops, a lap top, and an iPad.  We also updated all of our productivity software and our accounting software.  I have also been persistent in laying the foundation this year for our CRM and lead generation process.  We did have a substantial lift in revenue last year, and I credit that to improved consistency in our contact management strategy.  This will continue to be a focus for us in 2012.  We will also invest in the ASTD trade show this year, which will be in Denver May 2012.  That has proven to be a wise investment in years past.

I hope this strategic planning template will help you sort out what happens next to create even more success.   Schedule time now, and see how we can help with your strategic planning.


If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-EditDeb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.

Goal Setting: Taking Stock

I set a personal goal for myself at the beginning of 2011 that this year I would purchase a Honda CRV.  I’m thrilled to report that I bought a 2011 red CRV last weekend.  This was the culmination of a year of researching and shopping for j ust the right deal.  For some of you this may not be a big deal, but my old car was eleven years old and the car before that was ten years old when I decided it was time to move on.  As you can see, I drive my cars for a long time so this was a big buying decision for me.  I stayed connected to my goal all year.  I have a list of my goals that I keep for myself, both business and personal and I carry them with me as a reminder.  Goal setting always starts with me taking stock of what I learned during the prior year…successes and failures. As I look back on 2011 there are so many lessons I have learned.  Here are some of the ones at the top of my list that I want to remember as I move into the future. Transparency requires courage.  I learned about moving to a new level of transparency in both my personal and business relationships.  I shared in a prior blog that I have a sixteen-year-old and he has taught me this year that honesty comes with a price.  Sometimes I had to hear things that I might not have wanted to hear, but in the end I believe it has created a more connected relationship.  At work, that translated to being more direct with my clients about our needs and creating more balanced, reciprocal client relationships.  I also noticed that when I’m working with a group, I’m less attached to how I am perceived and more attached to the impact I’m having. The outcome is that I can have a bigger impact and create greater depth in relationships and outcomes. Empowerment = no victims allowed.  In my personal and business life I resemble my name-sake and am “busy as a bee” 99.9% of the time.  I can plow through a lot and I often feel like it is my responsibility to keep the fires burning.  I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I feel sorry for myself that I don’t get enough “me” time.  This year I have made a conscious effort to step back and let others step in.  I still have room for improvement, but I am proud that I am setting stronger boundaries and asking for help more often.  How this translates at work, is that I have created several workshops that focus on how to recognize victimhood and what that costs us in organizations.  Blaming and criticizing others is another way to give away your power.  Teaching others how to identify what they control and what they can influence and how to action plan is like handing them the keys to success.  Good stuff! Consistent process pays dividends.  In a small business you wear many hats and it can be challenging to find the right balance between operations, sales/marketing, research & development and client work.  One of my goals this year was to have a consistent lead generation process.  I have been diligent about getting our system and process worked out.  I decided to bring lead generation in-house so that we could maximize our CRM system capabilities.  This meant hiring a part-time business development, lead generator.  This has been a hard position to sustain, in part because many people take a part time job while looking for full-time employment.  I am now working with my fifth person.  It has been frustrating at times to have to stop and restart the training process for a variety of reasons.  But each of these individuals taught me some important lessons, one of those is that I am more dedicated than ever to having a process that is well defined, documented, and easy to communicate. Persistent belief in what we do.  There have been times over the last four years when I was afraid my business would not survive the economic upheaval.  This past year has been a good year for my company.  When I look back there are several reasons we have made it when others did not.  The one that has made the biggest difference for us is that we believe that the work we are doing is sorely needed and we have the goods to do it well.  I know without reservation that I make a meaningful difference in the lives of the customers I am privileged to work with.  I know we have an impact and this past year we got better at measuring the return so our customers can quantify that difference. Learn new things.  We have worked at being open and nimble at how we do things this year.  I’m very proud of the headway we are making in the social media arena.  We had been on twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn but we weren’t intentional about how we were using those important tools.  This year we developed an approach to execute social media in a consistent and strategic way.  We are still working on improving our effectiveness but we are consistently using our process.  As a result I am renewing connections with old colleagues and clients at an incredible rate.  I am discovering that using our new approach keeps me at the forefront of information I need for research and creative endeavors.  It’s a new day and I am thrilled to step into all that is possible. Next week, in part two of this series I will explore key business considerations (read about key considerations in this newsletters article) as I move toward using both my key learnings and business considerations to springboard my goals for 2012.

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-EditDeb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.