Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus.

A great next year is more likely to happen if you have a plan.

As we continue to look at the Contagious Leaders’ Year End Close Process, this Monday Moment contains step two in that process and continues your strategic planning. If you missed Step One, click here. Step one was determining your LBs and NTs and step two builds on that process by including a specific SWOT analysis.

Once you’ve celebrated the Liked Best list from 2011, set aside the Next Times until you’ve completed this next step. As a team, simply conduct a SWOT analysis that is relevant to those items you’re planning to achieve or complete in 2012.

If you’re not familiar with the SWOT analysis process, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, though some models replace weaknesses with limitations and either choice is appropriate. The key is to take a good look at anything that will be:

–          A Strength that will help you achieve what you’ve decided you’d like to see happen in 2012

–          A Limitation or Weakness that could keep you from those desires

–          An Opportunity that you couldn’t take in 2011 for which the time is now right

–          A Threat that is percolating or has raised a red flag that you want to keep at bay, but not give all of your attention.

 

In other words, this SWOT/SLOT analysis is specific to your list of Next Times and end of year or next year planning. This step will begin to add structure around the next year’s list of wants, dreams, desires, or directions.

Particular action steps for each team member will come later in the process, so avoid the temptation to rush into HOW this list will get done. Each step benefits from time to think through your list and even allowing the ideas to simmer or percolate a bit. However, if you’ve already primed the team for planning and it’s a process they’re used to, one next step that could be introduced is the contagious concept of start, stop and continue.

This is a more general look at how to take action toward the desired next year direction and will bridge the gap nicely between dreaming (LBs and NTs) and scheming (SWOT) to planning and acting.

The Liked Best and Next Year lists help you celebrate and dream. The SWOT analysis helps you focus and possibly scheme solutions to barriers, and the Stop, Start and Continue technique starts to address the question of “Great plans, but now what?” Plans without action are pipe dreams. Actions with no well thought out plans are pointless. And well, a plan, actions, and a team and contagious leader all on the same page? That’s priceless and of course… contagious!

Here’s to your great 2012 and stay tuned next week for steps 3 in the Contagious Leaders’ Year End Close Series. Please feel free to forward these to your colleagues who may not yet be recipients of our Monday Moment.

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Stay Contagious!

Monica

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