I’d like to talk to you about something that I find very important. Many people seem to miss this out and then wonder why they fail. What I am talking about is planning change.
At this time of year, most businesses are getting ready for the Christmas period. They are making sure they are closing out commercial processes for the end of year. Maybe some of them are also reflecting over what has been achieved over the previous 12 months. And that’s a great thing to do. By looking back and seeing what you have achieved you have a great opportunity. You use this information when planning change, as the template of what you can do moving forwards into the coming year.
Doing this provides you with a lot of information that you can find useful in planning for the year ahead.
But what often happens is that planning change seems a bit too hard or scary – what if it goes wrong? And so people do exactly the same thing, because – well – that worked before. The problem is that if you stand still you are creating the opportunity for everybody else to overtake you! And that means you will have probably actually moved backwards. And that’s not a good thing for a business and it’s not a good thing in your life either.
In fact, if you look at what happens in nature, you will find that if something isn’t growing its dying, It’s the same personally and in business.
To try and combat this you need to be thinking about, how you can grow the organisation. How can you improve performance etc, how you can make the changes essential to take your business to the next level.
Maybe you are thinking about how you can get more sales, or how can you improve your marketing? It may be that you are looking at areas to improve business processes so you are not wasting money. Perhaps your focus is how can you make things more efficient or more cost-effective for your customers.
Clearly, it is also important to think about planning change from a personal point of view. You also need to improve what you do on a day to day basis. And it is vital to make sure that your skills are current, so that you can take advantage any opportunity that comes along.
So How Do You Make A Change?
I’ve found there are eight key areas or characteristics that you need to work on and apply to yourself. These 8 areas will help you understand what you need to do to move forward for the following year. If you don’t really understand what is driving you to achieve change then the probability is you might not even stick to any plans.
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made and never stuck to? Right! And I am sure you know people who have great ideas but who don’t do anything about it.
Why Do Plans Fail?
One of the main reasons why plans fail is that the fundamental reason or motivator behind the plan isn’t strong enough or it isn’t really aligned with values and reality. What I mean is – even with the best goal and plan, if you don’t believe you can achieve it, then you won’t.
There are about 80 different questions you can ask yourself to help you highlight which of these eight main characteristics or areas that you need to really take care of in the year ahead. These will help you position yourself in the right place for growth, because you will have a strong idea of where in your life you need focus, whether that’s something like your health, wealth or wellbeing.
By understanding these area’s, you can direct your effort into the right place, you can find the right people to support your plans, and you can find the resources if you don’t have the right information or skills. You could find the right coach or mentor to help push you forwards in the right direction, so you achieve the things you really want.
Once you have this information – the “what it is” and the “why you need to do it” – make sure you write it down! This is probably one of the key tips about planning change that I could ever give you. So often people think, I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to get fit, I’m going to go on that great holiday etc. Then when they review things at the end of the year, they achieved none of those things.
One of the main reasons for the failure is because they never wrote it down, they didn’t diarise it in any way, they didn’t plan it in any detail. Therefore, the plans just became a wish, as opposed to being something concrete to act upon.
So, make sure that when you work out which of the eight main characteristics in your life you’re going to take care of, you write the plans down and you put firm timetables behind them to make it all happen.
And, if you don’t ask the key questions, consider the characteristics, then plan and document accordingly, you shouldn’t complain when you get to the end of next year and yet again you haven’t achieved what you really wanted to achieve.
I will leave you with just two words, and please think about these words carefully: – “This Matters”