Our brains thrive on clarity. The more detail we provide it the better our brain is at working for us. We are encouraged to write down our goals because it forces us to be specific and provide our brain with the exact detail of a plan or initiative. This gives our conscious mind direction, and reading it over and over gives our sub-conscious mind the ability to create auto suggestion moving us effortlessly towards our goal. The reason why most people never take the time to write down their goals is that it requires a substantial amount of time to stop, reflect and think. With all sorts of technology and social media tugging at our attention, our generation is at an all time low for true reflection.
This past week we held our Q3 company offsite. This quarter we forced ourselves as a company to stop and truly think. For the first time we were able to fill out a complete 5 year strategic planner which includes Mission, Purpose, Core Values, Strategy, Elevator Pitch, 5-year, 3-year, 1-year, 2016 goals as well as quarterly goals. Here are a few things that helped us pull this off:
1) The week before our Q3 meeting we held a 3-hour leadership team meeting to discuss all of the different components of our strategic plan. It is amazing what can be accomplished if you get smart people in a room, cut the phones off and grab a white board.
2) The most important part of the exercise was to establish a clearly defined 5-year plan. As Stephen Covey's 2nd Habit suggests, we had to begin with the end in mind. It is ok for this to change over time, the primary intent is to provide direction for our actions today.
3) Each outside time period provided clarity and direction for the shorter term plan. The 5-year plan provides clarity for the 3-year, the 3-year for the 1-year, etc.
4) We used our 1-year plan to establish nine specific goals that we want to accomplish by the end of 2016. Then, each of the nine goals includes a handful of items that have to be accomplished in Q3 to move them forward. Each item was assigned an owner which created a detailed list of action items and owners.
We refer to our action items as our "QIP's" which stands for quarterly incentive plans. Everyone's quarterly bonus is tied to the completion of each item assigned to them. Each Friday we will hold a 30 minute QIP call where each team leader reports the updated results from their team. I am extremely excited to see how clarity will help us accomplish our objectives in Q3 and I am so grateful to serve such an awesome team.