By Andrea Lucille Pooler, Business Management Lead
My personal ritual in welcoming the New Year includes taking time to mentally pause, look back at my journey over the past twelve months, and assess my successes and the efforts that were not so successful.
I come from a sailing family. This past summer, I spent time sailing on Lake Erie with my family. As a child, my parents never allowed me to helm the boat – this year they seem to have finally decided I could do so.
We had a wonderfully breezy Sunday and took the 31’ Pearson out on the lake. As we left the dock, I had no set plan. My parents turned over the captain duties to me, and I concentrated on the wind speed and wind direction. I was elated that I was skippering the boat, and we were moving along at a good pace.
However, if you’ve ever sailed, you know that aimlessly sailing, without a destination, can quickly get you in trouble. Think shallows, weed patches, running aground or into a buoy! I quickly realized I needed to plot out a course – devise a go-forward plan. My parents faithfully followed my instructions to keep the sails full and the rudder clear, and watched out for shallows.
With my course well laid, and my crew working seamlessly alongside me, we sailed pleasantly and uneventfully to my favorite island, Put-In-Bay, Ohio.
In 2022, as in years past, we found that the challenge faced by virtually all of our clients, and the most crucial part of any successful go-forward strategy, is your PEOPLE! You need to have the right people in place. Otherwise, no matter how much you brainstorm, strategize, and plan, you cannot execute successfully, and your best-laid plans are likely to fall apart.
Evaluate the viability of your ideas and plans in terms of your staffing and their competencies and strengths, to identify what you will need to change or add regarding your human resources.
- Review your staff, their strengths, interests, and areas where they may need retraining, relative to their current roles.
- Is there an opportunity to adjust or re-allocate tasks to those most qualified or motivated, to streamline the workload and gain additional time and productivity?
- Are there any areas or resources that need to be added?
- Can you outsource the task, plan, or project?
- Would layering in automation and/or technological aids enable better growth?
- Do your plans require new hiring for a specific role(s)?
- At what tasks does each of your team members thrive? Or drown? Where can you change assignments to ensure team members are working on what brings them the most job satisfaction, and therefore, the best work?
It may seem daunting to review your team with these considerations in mind. Implementing a Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment test with your current employees might help here. A certified PI Assessment tool (many are available for free online) will give you scientific and specific data to make your best HR decisions. The PI Assessment began as a hiring tool; companies now use the results for many purposes, including:
- Boosting productivity
- Improving team dynamics
- Promoting employees
Your people are the key to your business and your most important asset. Make sure to include this crucial aspect in your go-forward plans. If you do not have the right people in place, no matter how much you plan, your brilliant ideas, or your aspirations for 2023, you may become the captain of a sailboat with a crew who are not able to follow your directions.
So you first must make sure your crew is assigned the right roles. But how then to best map out your course? Figuring out what you need to do differently to get better results for the year ahead can be challenging. Prepare for Q1 by answering these fundamental questions:
- Did you accomplish all of your goals for 2022?
- Which ones gave you the most satisfaction?
- Were there missed opportunities to learn from?
- What do you want to do better in 2023?
Use the results to plan and refine your business strategy for 2023. As you begin the New Year, grasp the helm firmly, plot out your course, and skipper your boat and crew according to your plan. Don’t set sail without a strategy.
Andrea Lucille Pooler
Business Management Lead
PS: I’m going to be arriving in VicenzaOro with our Founder & CEO, Elle Hill, from the 20-23 of this month! If you’re going to be there and would like to talk shop, reply to this email and we’ll work to make it happen. AND be sure to watch Elle interview on stage the inimitable Katerina Perez on 21st January, the topic “Turning Passion into a Profession” ~ Andrea Lucille Pooler