(By Loyd Ford) People often create New Year’s Resolutions. These are usually a wish list of how you want your new year to look like. Most of them usually are forgotten long before February. A lot of people get caught up in the daily tasks and are reluctant to take a break from that treadmill to plan the year, but that is a mistake.
Planning with real goals and strategy give you a higher sense of purpose and connection to real goals. That can make all the difference in the world to your entire year and is worth doing.
So what makes goals different than these resolutions?
In many ways, I unfortunately have found that strategic planning for a calendar year has largely been severely reduced or all out eliminated at the local cluster level. This speaks largely to making your local brands, your ratings and your revenue suffer from a lack of vision and focus and individual stations often fall prey to being generic without real authentic purpose. Who can survive that well in 2021?
You have likely just lived through the most turbulent and unusual year in your career. 2021 is a year of reset and it is an excellent time to reset your local market goals. Have you set aside real time with your leadership and staff to plan 2021? If you haven’t, now is a great time.
If you’re fortunate, you have a team you believe in going into the battles of 2021. We all know it is more important than ever to have the right people on the bus. Next to that, having a solid plan for your approach to the year is critical.
Plan a purposeful 2021 by setting your path with specifics:
- Consider taking the time for an all day or weekend gathering with your team to discuss the direction of your business, challenges sellers and others face and to develop a strategic plan for the new year ahead, including messaging on air and on the streets about your brand and your approach to clients and prospective new categories of business. If you choose a weekend, make it a fun retreat and involves rewarding your team and getting down to business.
- Make your goals very specific. If you don’t have purposeful and specific goals and communicate them clearly to your individual team members, you may end up somewhere else this year. No one can afford to be off course this year.
- Make certain that your goals are measurable. Accountability should be a high focus of your plan. The greatest plan with poor execution is only unfortunate. Get your teams ‘buy in’ on accountability at your strategic planning event.
- Your goals should be highly actionable. Every goal should be tied to action and specific timing. If it does not have specifics for action and timing, you do not have a goal. This is also the effectiveness of having a retreat where you get your individual team members buy in. You and they agree on specific actions, specific messaging and accountable actions that consistently happen every week tied to each goal.
- All goals should be realistic. We have all been in meetings where bosses give us unattainable goals. It is critical to work with your team to establish attainable goals that make team members reach for goals. However, they must be able to achieve successes that can be measured by you and by them throughout the year. This builds momentum.
- Every goal should have a deadline. This goes back to timing, but it is critical that every action has a deadline to keep accountability and momentum on the move.
I want you to be encouraged. No matter how big or how small your team is or what challenges you face together, you can have an exciting new year. The next six months will likely be the most critical of the year. Having a battle plan that has buy in from your individual team members, accountability, action points and deadlines will make a huge difference in your year.
It’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelming nature of the challenges we face in today’s environment (especially after 2020), but if you use these six elements in planning your year, it will be worth your time.
Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]