As we jump into the New Year, I find myself wondering: Is anything really going to be different in 2015?  Does making a resolution for either my team or me determine the course of the year?

new-years-resolutionsWell, that depends on how those resolutions are made and if I have bothered to get actual buy-in from my team.

A resolution is really nothing more that picking priorities for the year. A seasoned leader knows that he or she cannot ramrod ideas throughout a company. Employees have to understand the “why” of that priority and then have some input into the “how” of the priority. Today’s leader must be participatory and flexible, yet also powerful enough to engage others.

To be effective, a few steps that should be followed when creating a “resolution” for either you or your team include:

Pick your priorities. Choose somewhere between 3 and 5 priorities for the year. More than that and a team becomes unfocused. It’s a good idea to focus on just 1 per quarter. All of these priorities ultimately drive toward one main focus over the next several years—your mission, vision and values achieved.

Create a Communication Plan. First, the leadership must articulate the priority on which the company shall focus. Then, determine a way of communicating the importance, or the “why,” of that priority.  Communication needs to be clear and consistent and must flow in both directions in order for leadership to know how the company is progressing and the team to know what needs to happen to drive the company forward. Having a “daily huddle” to highlight successes and areas of help needed are a great way to keep communication lines open between employees and their managers.

Know your metrics. Understanding the data behind key business decisions is necessary to determine the success of your team when tackling the priority identified. This is vital to the success of your “resolution.” If you don’t know what success looks like, how will you know when you have achieved it?

Plan & Prepare. As a coach once told me, “Hope is not a strategy.” Establishing a resolution but not putting in place the plan to achieve it greatly reduces you and your team’s chance for success. It is those teams that plan out the “how” a resolution will be implemented that are the most successful.

So put those resolutions in place! Just make sure you are doing it effectively.

Tell us, what are your resolutions for 2015? How do you plan to make sure they are effective?

If you or your organization could use a hand setting resolutions, give OI Global Partners a call today. We can help!

Susan Ruhl is managing partner, CFO, OI Global Partners – Innovative Career Consulting, Inc. Susan has developed a sharp eye for how businesses get bloated with inefficiencies, cross- purposes and miscommunication – and how they can retool for a sleeker, smoother, strategically focused organization. Susan is an active member with the Colorado MS Society and frequent speaker at local associations in the Colorado marketplace.  Susan also facilitates the Denver based Executive Talent Board, a peer-networking group for C-level executives currently in the job search. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Marquette University.

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