News from the CEO – Hybrid Approach to Business Planning

January 12, 2022

Reflecting on my business and personal observations during the pandemic, this year I’m taking a different approach to planning, and I invite you to consider a change as well. Yes, I will still utilize the data gleaned from analysis of my 2021 business performance; however, the past two years have taught me that being present and mindful of the moment is perhaps even more important than making a long-term plan and working that plan. Weekly and monthly planning check-ins seem to have helped me be more accurate in anticipating, preparing, and achieving success. In addition, this approach has reduced the number of “missed” goals, and provided me with less disruption for coming up short on some goal that was difficult to achieve due to continuous change.

No one has a crystal ball predicting what the end of COVID looks like, or what date a return to face-to-face engagements will be welcomed by clients, or what new political or social events will impact the needs of our clients. As I’m preparing this article, there is news that a new variant of COVID may be traveling around the world. If that is true, what impacts will result? The world is spinning so fast with immediate consequences of cause-and-effect situations that it appears timely to adopt a hybrid approach to planning as a more realistic way to manage the times in which we are living and working. 

Just as we suggest a hybrid return-to-work approach to clients trying to balance office and remote work options, a little of this and that might be the way to dive into 2022. Here are a few steps I’m following this cycle:

  1. Analyze the past two years and reflect on lessons learned from critical elements such as pivoting, empathy, and managing change. How should these lessons factor into 2022 planning?
  2. Articulate the strengths and weaknesses of your team in succeeding in an environment of uncertainty and a shift from long-term goals to long-term expectations. 
  3. Create several significant, SMART, short-term goals, along with a commitment to be accountable to monitor and adjust each goal as the days and weeks of 2022 fly by. 
  4. Establish a process for revisiting, expanding, and reporting on each short-term goal as the year progresses. This may require pausing some goals, while you address pivoting and implementing new ones that reflect current changing conditions. What questions should you be asking so you don’t miss the chance for success with an opportunity you couldn’t imagine in January?
  5. Prepare your team to strengthen their resiliency skillsets and mindsets.
  6. Demonstrate mindfulness and balance being in the moment with the dynamics of your industry, as well as the influence societal and political actions will bring to bear.
  7. Look for, and celebrate, wins of all sizes and be open and ready for the opportunities you can’t currently imagine as you begin this new year. 

Wishing you good health, happiness, and endurance to achieve an outstandingly successful 2022!!