You Must Retreat to Continue to Compete
Now that the 1st of July has past and we are into the second half of the business year, it is time to retreat and then charge ahead. What? That sounds like an oxymoron! Actually no, because as you reviewed your Half-Time Report you undoubtedly identified areas that you know you need to revise, reenergize and refocus upon. From your experience and mine we both know how hard that is given your daily work flow. Even though your intentions are good and you know you must improve to have a winning second half, the urgent & tactical supplants the strategic.
Here is a better idea.
Look ahead a week or three on your calendar and carve out a solid half or full day to retreat with your support person(s) and other advisors with whom you partner. Even if you are a solo practitioner you need to carve out this time to focus on the future. This is not an extended staff or marketing meeting. Rather it is a “get a better understanding of where we need to improve and here is how we will do it meeting.”
Having conducted hundreds of these retreats for our clients as well as for our own business there are several things I have learned that make this a productive time for all.
1) Go off site and don’t go cheap. Pick a local location that is up market and provides an elevated experience. As an example all of our consulting project team retreats are either at The Wynn Las Vegas, The Westin on Tampa Bay, or The Hilton at LAX. Why? Each location fits the above criteria, which energizes our teams and all are close to one of our offices.
2) The agenda should not be about what you or someone is doing wrong but rather how can we make things better for all of us. Here is a place to start:
- Begin with the good things that have happened year to date and be thankful to all
- Follow with a reiteration of your vision & goals for 2014
- Engage every attendee to speak freely about areas they believe improvement can or should be made. Nothing can be sacrosanct, every comment needs to be accepted & written down on a flip chart to address later. This is not the time to solve; it is the time to identify.
- Now share the areas you as an individual believe needs improvement and most importantly why.
- Take a break and let people digest and refocus
- Methodically work through every area of needed improvement (yours and theirs) and let innovation flow and get consensus on how each will be addressed and by whom.
3) Create a 90 day plan listing every specific action to be taken including the completion date, the person(s) responsible, and obstacles to overcome.
This approach even with a support team of one will help you gain clarity on issues to be solved as well as establish the priority and timing of each action item. Those that you can’t get to now put on the next 90 day plan so you continually and incrementally improve.
- Close the retreat with words of encouragement which simply put includes; words of Hope, Help, and Support of each other to make this year your best season yet!
Here is our 90 day plan template you can use to get this ball rolling in your business. Make as many copies as you need to list every specific action item.
Most importantly, once this retreat is held spend no more time getting ready to get ready. I have two signs which hang in my office that help me to move forward.
The first is “Start with what you have and give God something to bless”
The other is Napoleon’s famous quote “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go!”
So with those words of encouragement I expect the next thing you will be able to say is
For solutions to your branding, marketing, prospecting, service, and leadership issues check out The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management
C.Richard Weylman, CSP, CPAE and multiple best-selling author and Hall of Fame main platform presenter.
Reach him through Teri@richardWeylman.com
Or via 800.535.4332 or internationally at 941.828.3600