Hey folks! Today is September 30th, and you know what that means? Tomorrow starts Q4. Are you ready? Have you done your strategic planning for Q4? Did you have or have you scheduled your quarterly strategic planning session with your team?
No? Well, let me tell you why it is so important that you do. Research has shown the efficacy of "fresh starts" in performance—when people get to start over anew, they are more motivated than they were before. (This is why the gym parking lot is always so full on Monday.) Psychologically, there is something so appealing about being able to wipe the slate clean and start over, and in business, you need to take advantage of those moments to get the best performance from your team.
The beginning of a new month is a great time to do this, and a new quarter is even better. (Don't get me started on how great a new year is.) Let's say you haven't exactly been hitting your targets this year—Covid has done a number on many of us—and you want your team to finish the year strong. What better way to accomplish that than sitting down with them, looking at your strategic plan and the progress you have made to date, and setting SMART goals for the last quarter of the year? Throw out the plan you made in January, when the world was...different...and make a new plan for the last three months of the year that takes into account the world we live in now. You'll motivate your team, set them on a positive path, and hopefully, crush this last quarter.
And if Covid has been a boon for your company, you definitely need a new plan. If you've blown past your targets for the year, you don't want everyone entering Q4 in coast mode. Time to look at the last three months of the year, set new, higher targets, and see just how great you can make 2020. Feel free to bake in some incentives and excitement around a year that, for many, doesn't have much excitement at all.
Basically, there's no BAD reason to assess where you are at the end of the quarter and create a new plan for the last three months of the year. But it would be a bad idea to let this opportunity for a reset to pass you by.