We are in a time of crisis. Events have become more unsettled and uncertain. Companies are being buffeted by a pandemic and economic upheaval. In this chaotic environment, it is much more difficult for companies to navigate and find their way.
It is like charting a course through a fog. Everything is murky, and there are no landmarks for guidance. It is an entirely novel situation and easy to go astray. Here are 3 ways to get back on course.
1. Define your goals
Leaders need to look ahead several months, a year, two years down the road, and determine what kind of outcomes they are looking for, goals that they can communicate clearly to other employees.
It is essential to keep in mind that goals need to be clearly stated and concrete – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Leaders also need to build support for their plans to get buy-in from all the stakeholders involved.
Try not to get ahead of yourself at this point. The desire to take off and move rapidly should be tempered by the need to build a firm foundation to build on – effective goals, planning, research, and consensus.
2. Coalesce around just a few essential outcomes
Some organizational experts advise having no more than four basic short-terms goals – those achievable within a few months – and the goals need to align with the outcomes you want. Again, it is important to get agreement among all those involved.
3. Develop a strategic plan
Then you need to develop strategies to reach those goals. It is essential to understand how the strategies you develop are tied to the goals, how they will help you get where you want to go. It may seem obvious that a certain strategy is related to a goal, but it is not difficult during strategy brainstorming sessions for plans of action to become untethered from the outcomes they are intended to support.
After developing a strategy, move to a more granular level of developing the tasks that need to be accomplished to meet the goals. Each task should help achieve as many of the basic goals as possible. Some organizational experts advise having no more than eight tasks. This will entail some challenging discussions and compromise.
Next, boil everything down and summarize it on one page. If you have established a strong link between your tasks, strategies, and objectives, it should be clearly discernable on your one-page outline.
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