How Do You Maintain The Focus to Stick With Your Plan? Five Suggestions

Situation: The Company has both an annual and a 5-year plan. These are discussed in both company meetings and in 1-on-1s with managers. The CEO fears that he’s starting to sound like a broken record. How do you maintain the focus to stick with your plan?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Break the 1-year plan into quarterly objectives. Don’t just divide annual objectives by four. Vary objectives for each quarter so that the total sums to the annual plan.
  • Divide your broad plan into a series of milestones. Celebrate the achievement of each milestone. This helps to maintain momentum and keeps everyone engaged.
  • Establish metrics to assess your progress against the plan. These will enable you to evaluate progress against plan and the degree to which you are above or below plan. It will also help you to evaluate whether underperformance is a matter of externalities or a flaw in the plan itself. If there is a flaw, fix it as soon as you find it.
  • Evaluate your “worst case” scenario so that you know the implications. This enables you to compare current performance against “worst case.”
  • In his book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins found that an important difference between G2G and non-G2G companies was the ability of the G2G companies to maintain faith and to slowly build momentum regardless of the apparent obstacles faced. This allowed good companies to establish the momentum that eventually made them great. Non-G2G companies continually changed direction and never built sustainable momentum.

Key Words: Plan, Annual, Long-Term, Objectives, Milestones, Celebrate, Momentum, Engaged, Underperformance, Worst Case, Good to Great

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