Plan now for an outstanding fourth quarter

Plan now for an outstanding fourth quarter

In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever to constantly evaluate your progress and update your strategic plans. Now is the time to re-evaluate your fourth quarter projections and adjust course. Use the following questions as your guide:

  • How is the organization performing? Review your key performance indicators and analyze the causes for any numbers being off from your projections.
     
  • What has changed? Compare the assumptions you made in writing your fourth-quarter plan to what is true now. Have there been major fluctuations in your industry? Did a competitor introduce a new product or service? Example: If one type of marketing is far out-performing your expectations, adjust your strategy to take advantage of that.
     
  • What new goals should we set for the year’s end? Don’t wait until Jan. 1 to set ambitious new goals for your team. Or if your original goals proved unrealistic, set new ones that your team can attain before the year is up, so employees finish the year motivated. (See “Last month’s question,” below, about revisiting your organization’s mission statement and goals.)
     
  • How is my performance? Evaluate your own successes and failures so far this year, and determine three things that you can improve before the end of 2011.

The last three months of the year can make or break you, so guarantee that your team finishes strong.

Last month’s question

One-fourth of the readers who responded to our question last month said they couldn’t remember the last time they discussed the organization’s mission statement and goals with their teams. If you can’t remember, how do you expect the team to?

Another 25 percent said they haven’t reviewed them since January, and one reader admitted that it has been two years.

To keep your team focused on what’s important, weave comments about the mission statement and goals into your everyday conversations.

Eleven percent of our readers said they review the goals each time they begin a new project, which is a great practice. Another 25% discuss the mission and goals each quarter.

Participate in this month’s poll here!

 
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