CEO Spotlight: We love it when a plan comes together.

Nov 28, 2018 | Align, Leadership Lounge

Designing your 2019 talent strategy.

In this newsletter, we have focused a lot on connecting people to your strategy. We even shared some actionable ways our clients have had success to see what might work for you. This time of year is crunch time, and everyone seems to feel it. With revenue, budgets, sales goals, capital expense requests, and facility needs (and the list goes on) to account for, leaders and organizations hone in on numbers with a laser-like focus. And then there is the people side of the business—which drives all of the elements above—to think through and plan. It is too easy (and common) to cut and paste last year’s budget and call it a strategic plan. Don’t do it.  Push to be better, and in turn, it will push your entire organization to be better.

It is exhausting, but if done right, it can be equally exhilarating.

My intention, right here, right now, is to ask you questions we ask our clients as they build and implement their organizational strategy. Maybe the questions will excite you, challenge you, and even make you uncomfortable. If they do…good. My goal is to make you think—really think. A luxury you might not often get in your role. Even if there is one question below that allows you to: become a more effective (and inspirational) leader, design a strategic plan that actually exceeds your expectations, curate a team that is unmatched by others, build a people culture to attract the best talent, deliver financial results and rewards for all involved, or allows you to have more confidence in your plan… that will be a win. For you and your organization. Let’s do this.

Use this list of questions as your personal facilitated guide looking back on this year, as well as towards the New Year. If you are moved by something that is asked, shoot me an email… I would love to hear from you.

Looking back:

  • Were you clear to your team on the expected outcomes for 2018?
  • Did the outcomes meet your expectations? Why or why not?
  • Did you provide ongoing feedback as to progress, setbacks, wins, and changes? If not, what got in the way?
  • Looking at your team, did you have the right people in the right roles for best results?
  • What might you have done differently when looking at your execution this year as it relates to your people? What about processes?
  • What elements of your plan surprised you for good or bad?
  • What were you most proud of in the way your strategic plan came together?
  • What elements were most disappointing to you as you look at your team’s overall implementation of the 2018 strategy?
  • How would your team evaluate you as their coach this year providing ongoing, consistent, and direct feedback?
  • What resources did you best utilize?
  • What resources did you need that would have helped improve the results of this year?


Looking forward:

  • Have you communicated with your entire organization the overall vision, outcomes, and drivers for 2019? How will you communicate ongoing progress and adjustments to the plan?
  • What part of your strategic plan excites you the most?
  • What part excites your team the most?
  • How might you lead differently this year to get these results?
  • What areas of your plan worry you the most?
  • What talent gaps could prevent this plan from taking shape?
  • What feedback have you received from your team about concerns or potential obstacles that might hinder the success of the 2019 plan?
  • Do you have the right people in the right roles?
  • What talent gaps do you have internally? Do you have a written plan on how to remedy those gaps?
  • Does the entire team have a vision of what success looks like for 2019? How will you celebrate?
  • Who is your accountability partner? Who do you trust to give honest and open feedback on progress, successes, and roadblocks?

Curiosity of self takes being vulnerable and bold. It takes self-awareness and humility. Being constantly curious will help facilitate a team – and an organization – continually striving for greatness. Keep asking yourself the hard questions. I promise, it will be worth it.

Let me know what discoveries you make. I am curious to learn from you.



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