I made a mistake this week.
After months of consultation, questioning and refining, our organisation had come up with a thought out and comprehensive strategy for the years ahead. The execution would be rewarding, challenging, needed.
This week, our team gathered for our annual conference, when I was to present our strategy, after a review of where we had come from. The presentation over, I opened the floor for questions and thoughts. The discussions that followed felt filled with uncertainty, and perhaps a touch of negativity.
I went home that night feeling a bit deflated, but knowing there had to be rich lessons for me to learn. As I twisted and turned in bed unable to sleep, I made the most of the power of hindsight…
Consult – more
Although we had consulted with key individuals throughout the development of the strategy, we still could have done more. I could have done more. Some of the consultations had been done as group discussions over the phone, when face-to-face (and perhaps individual) meetings might have been best suited. I offered them, but could have pushed the matter more. Also, our consultation could have been much broader, seeking input from all via a survey. The output might have been exactly the same, but the buy-in very different…
Anticipate questions and reluctance
Big, stretchy, hairy goals will always provoke questions. I was ready for some of them, but hadn’t anticipated others. And more importantly, perhaps I hadn’t sufficiently put myself in the shoes of the different groups of people to attend the conference, looking at the strategy from their angle. The weeks ahead will involve exactly that – giving our team members direct line of sight into their contribution to the strategy.
Lift the spirits
The biggest lightbulb moment for me was this: there are so many amazing, inspiring stories of the impact of our program. I should have started the conference on a high note by getting people to share these stories. We ended the event with a recognition piece which brought a lot of positive energy in the room, but wouldn’t it have been amazing to lift the spirits right from the start?
I live and learn…