August is the summer tradition for road trip vacations in my family…a tribute to the final days of summer before back-to-school and changing to the more structured tempo of fall. As we pile into the car with more duffle bags, suitcases, and boogie boards than clowns in a Volkswagen Bug, the circus begins. As with most family adventures, you learn over time the different preparation styles that each person has to be ready to leave. The “late packer,” the “early packer,” the “everything has to be done before we leave,” the “GPS” versus the “map reader,” each has a different checklist.
Leadership and planning with a group takes similar styles and can benefit from similar preparations to bring the group together in a happy travel plan. Consider the following five approaches to start on a planning journey that can be fun.
- Pick a destination that everyone is excited about – This is the essence of strategy and planning. If everyone is excited about where you are going, the rest of the details will be much easier to sort out.
- Plan your route – There is nothing worse than getting lost at the start! Annual planning is just that simple. There is no GPS for business so you have to manually take the time to write down the steps and check your progress.
- Set some ground rules – Setting expectations for the process and how the group will operate helps your different planning styles to work together. Have enough flex in the timeline to accommodate the “late packer” with an extra reminder.
- If you get lost, learn something new – Getting lost can either have tempers flaring or provide an opportunity to have some fun. Similarly, if your goals are going in a different direction or if there is a hurdle you didn’t anticipate, this challenge can be an opportunity. Remember how many failures ultimately become big successes. Taking the time to learn a new lesson is a great opportunity.
- Pack snacks – In the car, small snacks can be a lifesaver by satisfying an appetite that is off schedule. In strategy and planning having some progress points can encourage small victories along the way. In short, it keeps your momentum moving forward.
As you consider your transition to the fall, the timing is great for revisiting your strategic road trip. Take the time for a fall planning retreat. Thinking about your goals as a team and refresh your plan. This can make a big difference for your leadership travels.
Consider the experienced resources of MSBCoach to help facilitate your fall planning with the content, coaching, and dynamic tools to generate a great discussion.