Strategies for a Rocking Q4Maybe it’s ‘highway hypnosis.’ Or maybe time does fly when you’re having fun. Either way, here we are at cliff’s edge – what we like to call the start of the fourth quarter. Gird your loins peoples, it starts in about a week. And we know just how you feel. It’s a blur of activity, trying mightily to complete your goals, hit targets and reach that finish line. It’s crazy, it’s hectic and it’s called Q4. But as a business leader, you can’t afford the crazy. What to do? Take a deep breath and repeat “I can and I will.” Here are some great strategies for how to lead and have a rocking Q4:
- Complete your strategic plan for next year.
What? Next year? Yes, we know this article is about Q4, but we’ve already seen the importance of the strategic planning process and identified ways to jump-start the process. And yet, as we all know, most businesses start the strategic planning process every year but never get around to completing it. Yes, it’s just too easy to ignore it in favor of the fire of the day. So our advice? If you haven’t finished your strategic plan for next year, grab your calendar, schedule three half-day sessions over the next four weeks and get it done.
- Harvest that low hanging fruit.
If you review your key objectives for this year, you’ll likely find some outstanding applause-worthy successes, a few “man, almost!”, and a bunch of “neva-gonna-happens”.
The successes are done and duly recorded, and there’s not much you can do about those “nevas.” So choose a couple of the “man, almost!” (two is plenty for the remainder of the year) and identify the two or three things you could do to push each of them over the line. Write them down. Seriously. Write down the specific actions you’re going to take– with whom, and by when– to get them over the finish line.
- Where are those pruning shears?
Hopefully, you’ve been paying attention to your “misses” and figured out what has worked and what hasn’t this year. Perhaps it was about choosing the wrong initiatives or implementing poor processes? Or maybe it was about having the wrong people in the wrong place.
Don’t wait until Q1 next year to tackle the barriers you already know are slowing the growth of your business. Write them down, stare long and hard at what you’ve written, take a deep breath, and start weeding.
- Ask outside the box.
We all get a little ‘business myopia’ sometimes. But whether it’s about being too busy or too rigid, we really encourage asking outside of your company box. By that we mean, reaching out to colleagues and friends who aren’t connected to your business in any way. Be open, be honest and invite questions. Build dialog and really hear the feedback.