As I set up for the Q4 planning session with my client and her team, there was something unusual in the air – a kind of buzz. Typically, when I work with them on their quarterly goals, the team meanders in. On this particular day, however, they were eager to get started. My client and her team had achieved EVERY SINGLE ONE of their quarterly goals for the first time in years. They’d knocked it out of the park and they couldn’t wait to share that with me!

You see, most times at these quarterly meetings, we’d go over what got accomplished (typically somewhere around 50%), what didn’t get accomplished, what didn’t work and what displaced their word. We’d clear the space and reset the energy. Then we’d discuss what to carry over into the next quarter and what else they wanted to achieve. You might be tempted to think that this is a slacker team but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a high-performing, world-class interior design firm of very talented people. 

At our last planning session, we did something very different. The team committed to taking on realistic goals in light of their workload and they self-selected teams using their Clifton’s StrengthsFinder results. They were intentional about forming teams with members that would complement one another’s natural talents and strengths. Then they went to work on the initial steps they needed to accomplish in the first week of the quarter and scheduled time to work together for 45 minutes each week on their goals. 

Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. (Gallup)

When I drilled down a bit deeper into what they believe had made them so successful, they said they operated above the line with ownership, accountability and responsibility and gave up blaming, excuses and denial. They had a display that showed the teams, the goals and where they were each week and at their weekly team meeting, they shared the status of each goal. In short, with the display and weekly communication, they kept the game alive over time. They had well-formed teams and they had realistic goals that they committed to and that were meaningful to them. The excitement in the room was palpable. Something had shifted for this team in a very positive direction! It was a proud moment for this owner and a proud moment for me as well. 

Employees whose managers involve them in goal setting are 3.6x more likely than other team members to be engaged at work. (Gallup)

There’s a lot we can all learn from the story of this interior design team! If you’re looking to transform your annual and quarterly planning process into one that really works and generate momentum in a more positive direction, schedule your complimentary business health check and be sure to check-out our team engagement services!

About the author,

With 14 years of experience in working with small and medium sized businesses to help them grow, Doug is committed to seeing business owners thrive. Business coaching is what drives Doug.

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