by Joel Freimuth, CEO of Blue Pearl Consulting
The middle of the third quarter is the time to crunch the numbers and see how the first half of the year shaped up. If that look in the rearview mirror is painful, then there is work to be done to resurrect 2014 and most importantly, lead into a great new year.
There is a natural difficulty in forging ahead when it feels like so much has been lost, but the ability to do this emits leadership to the rest of the team.
Don’t dwell and drive yourself crazy thinking about the goals that you will not be able to reach in 2014. Instead, use the lessons learned to create an action plan for the 4th quarter and 2015. This will not only center your attention where it needs to go, but will show your staff that they are onboard a ship that is not sinking anytime soon.
Here are three strategies to drive the focus for the 4th quarter and into 2015:
Not only is this the first step and most important step, but it is also often the most overlooked. Too many business owners fail to truly look into what went right and what went wrong at this point in the year. Goals and numbers to reach for are great. However, if one does not take a second look into the concepts that initially went into their creation, then the true purpose of having goals becomes lost.
If you are off pace, determine ‘the why’ in order to set a course of action for the year’s final months.
When goals realistically become out of reach, it is time to set new short term goals for the company to fight for. While this is not something that should be done every month, it is okay to cut your losses at half time and reach for new stars. A great way to ensure this is not an effort in futility is to create very reachable goals at this time. This will give a sense of accomplishment and something positive for the whole team to fall back on even when the year as a whole did not end up the way it was initially planned to.
Communicate honestly with your team about why goals have been missed. By creating a communal sense of understanding around why goals had to be reset, the chance to hit your goals next year increases.
Do not give up on 2014 completely. However, beginning to set a plan of attack into motion for 2015 will inspire confidence in leadership. This gets back to truly comprehending the conceptual flaws that were present in 2014’s goals. Being honest with employees and letting them know what the biggest detractors from success were will give the leader credibility. Problems have been identified and now it is up to management to make the necessary adjustments to capacity and planning for next year’s growth.
Joel Freimuth is the President of Blue Pearl Consulting Firm, founded in 2011. Freimuth has years of experience and expertise in management consulting, financial analytics, business development and strategic planning. Blue Pearl is located in Chicago, IL, and specializes in creating, implementing and maintaining strategies to assist its clients in reaching their stated goals.