On June 18, 2019, Kasie and Shennice took on that great annual tradition: The Mid-Year Review. Here are the show notes:
Kasie Whitener, Clemson Road Creative
Shennice Cleckley, Smart Cookie Coaching
Theme for day:
Execution Edition — No, not death to tyrants, more like “What have you actually done this year?”
- What does it take to set business goals?
- What goals did you have for 2019? Where are you?
- How to set 2nd-half-of-the-year-goals
- To-Do Re-View
We’re nearing the end of the second quarter of 2019 — the halfway point of the year. Let’s talk about how the first half of the year went, where we’re tracking toward our Annual Goals and what we can do to either right the ship or stay the course.
Let’s start with the goal setting basics we went through back in December. Here are links to those shows: Basics and BHAGs
For basics, we talked about beginning with a BIG VISION of your success and then working backward to the everyday things you can be doing right now to work toward that vision.
Back in December, we shared some big visions for our businesses. Let’s revisit those.
We also talked about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how we could identify the reasons we were willing to work toward these goals. We talked about how recognizing the key motivators is how we can make sure we’ll continue to work on these goals.
Then we talked about S.M.A.R.T. goals and how we could be specific about the things we planned to do.
Then, on the next show, we talked about BHAGs or Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The kinds of things we don’t usually say out loud because people will think we’re crazy. The benefit of BHAGs is dreaming big, thinking about ourselves at the very highest levels of success. That vision can be a powerful motivator when things are going wrong.
Let’s review some BHAGs discussion and identify a few we’re still hanging on to.
So what does it take to set business goals? Well, we want to be realistic — you can get practical with some customer validation. We want to be reaching — what got you here won’t get you there. We want to be focused on core competencies — what can you do well? What can you do easily? And we want to be spending the bulk of our time on the right things — what gets you paid?
How many companies take a mid-year inventory? We used to have quarterly meetings where the President of North American business would review the earnings statements and show how we were tracking toward our goals. It was mind numbingly boring for many people because they couldn’t connect the BIG corporate goals to their everyday existence in the company.
Some tips for reviewing your Annual Goals with yourself and your team:
- Recognize progress of any kind.
- Identify challenges and course corrections for what they are: chances to grow.
- Connect your daily work to the big achievements you’re envisioning.
- Categorize the goals so you can see progress across multiple efforts.
The best part about a mid-year check in is that we still have six months left. Not on trajectory to meet that year-end goal? How can you take more aggressive steps to get there? Looking like you’ll blow that goal out of the water? How can you parlay that success into spinning up a new product or service?
Wharton tells us that the mid-year business review can:
- Evaluate performance.
- Reallocate resources to better achieve goals.
- Make more money than you would have otherwise.
- Take stronger corrective actions than you would have without a mid-year review.
- Provide leadership for your team—too much silence taxes milestone goals.
- Offer focus for your team.
If you feel like you’re flailing, or if things have been derailed or pushed to the back burner, a mid-year review can help you recenter and reallocate resources.
SCORE offers this advice about making use of the summer months for a mid-year review:
- Reviewing now offers time to course correct — November is too late!
- Your competitors may be procrastinating.
- Opportunities may exist now that will disappear later.
- It’s a great time to re-energize and re-motivate employees before a slump.
So how is it done? Well, Forbes offers this seven-point checklist:
- Are you halfway to your goal?
- Is your goal still compelling?
- What do you need to do to get back or stay on track?
- What support do you need to get back or stay on track?
- Do you want to aim higher?
- Is your goal still relevant?
- What will you do from here? (actionable steps)
Some things you might notice now, at mid year, that you were unable to predict earlier:
- The metrics you chose are not relevant; there’s a better way to chart success.
- The efforts you thought would pay off have had little impact; but some things you didn’t expect to be doing are actually working well.
- The partnerships you established have failed or flourished.
- The events you invested in did or did not yield the desired results.
- Your customer demographics have shifted and your marketing hasn’t.
- Your margins might be slipping.
At mid-year, you can still correct these fails. You can still make changes to improve the slump, pull yourself out of it. You can make changes to manage the work, the revenue, and the trajectory.
This blog suggests you begin with a reality check — we did that, right? Here’s their reality check checklist:
- Which incremental goals have we achieved so far?
- Which ones have we not achieved?
- What got in the way of achieving them?
- Where do we stand in relation to our final destination? Are we halfway there?
- If we’re less than halfway, what do we need to do to catch up?
- If we’re halfway, have any new opportunities arisen that might allow us to get ahead of plan?
- Did we pursue something not in the original plan and lose sight of something that was and do we need to get back to that or continue in the new direction?
They also suggest a market check-up which I think is really essential. While your business is out there executing a strategy designed for the market as you knew it in December of 2018, the industry you’re in is changing, competitors are also executing, and that strategy may no longer be relevant.
- What has changed with our markets, our customers, and our business in general during the last six months?
- How do these changes affect our plan?
- Did we foresee any of these changes in our plan?
- If not, what caused us to miss them?
- Have any new competitive threats appeared on the scene? New opportunities?
Overall, this is the strategic management nerd in me coming out. Let’s plan to succeed. Let’s think about the world we’re operating in and then be intentional about the work we’re doing. If not, we’re just flying by the seats of our pants, unlikely to actually get traction, serve customers, or grow our businesses.
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