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Whoa 2008!

Can’t wait for 2008 to be in the rearview mirror? You’re probably not alone. Even if 2008 was a good year for you, there’s one thing you should do before you jump in to 2009. 
Review 2008.
In our annual 2 day private workshops with our clients we spend a considerable amount of time with our client’s executive team reviewing the past year. We start with positives reviewing the victories they achieved individually as well as having them select the top victories of their teammates so that acknowledgement and recognition is spread around and a celebratory feeling fills the room. We review their core values discovering who in their business exemplified these best to create stories and legends that can inspire leadership and the team to live the spirit of the business.
Before we begin this meeting we’ve also polled the entire staff to ask them what we should stop doing, keep doing and start doing. This provides a rich base of information that offers the variety necessary to stimulate new thought, ensure a broader viewpoint is heard, and prevent atrophy at the executive level. It offers a good sense of Reality as perceived by the company as a whole.
The next step is to review the past year. What objectives did we set, what key numbers were expected to be delivered by who and when and how did we do at achieving these? Each executive team member had specific priorities and numbers that are dash boarded and this is a day of reckoning for how they did. Realize that there have been daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly days of reckoning along the path. 
We then look at what worked and what lessons were learned in the past year. This is all about discovery in order to help build a better plan for the next year. We do a process called Appreciative Inquiry, focusing on what went well rather than focusing on the negatives. 
If all went well and goals and objectives were achieved, this portion of the meeting can be short, however if there were struggles and objectives and numbers were not attained a serious look at why this occurred is necessary. Many questions can be asked here. Was the goal to high, were there insufficient resources, do we have the wrong people, do we need more training, better systems, did economic forces unhinge our efforts, what technology or unforeseen circumstances prevented us from hitting the target? All of these and more might be part of the discussion. The important issue is to discover why an objective we felt confident enough to set as a target was missed. In order to reach targets in the future we need to be aware of what might have blindsided us from attaining it. 
Armed with this knowledge and wisdom we can move forward to set new targets for the coming year. The only way to prevent the past from repeating itself is to be consciously aware of previous mistakes and avoid them.
So before you get ready to greet and embrace a new year, review the past, celebrate your accomplishments and set new goals with the intention of appreciating what it took to achieve what you successfully reached previously and learning from what you didn’t.
It’s the best way to make 2009 better than ever    !

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.