February: the month of sharpness
Updated: Feb 2
Most of you might have known that the word February comes from Februalia, a festival of purification and atonement that took place in Roman's civilization. The spirit of purification was to strip things that doesn't matters, and come back to the 'only things that matters'. For me, this is the month where Leaders should take time to look at all things, and really focus on sharpening their work and team development plan for the year. It's time to zoom-out and look above the forest of "to-do-lists" clutters, and place a path of priorities to cut through it.
Set and finalize your priorities.
The reason why February is a good month to sharpen your work plan is because as per now, organisation has already completed to get all inputs that matters: reflection from previous years performance, clarity on market's forecasting for the upcoming months in present year, understanding on your key clients/customers/stakeholders needs, and (if you follow my advise on my "January blog" ) the energy in the team is already at its high and peak period. All the elements that make a sharper action plan is there, so don't waste time: finalize your work plan, focus only on what matters as your Priorities, align it across with your stakeholders, and plan to lock key big agendas in your individual and team calendar and work toward that.
For a first-time manager, some might asked: "How to do that?".
There's a lot of 'strategy-into-action' tools you can use, such as Balanced Scorecard. The reality: any tools can work out, if you do 'one thing' right. That one thing is to ensure you have one conceptual framework to design your plan that connected across. For HR, I use a simple model of talent, organisation, capability and culture. You must discuss with your fellow leadership team on how you want to align in a single-conceptual framework so every function's strategy can later be connected at a top-level for the team to drive things together.
"How to filter which one is priority, and which one is not? " - you might also asked.
The answer to that is also simple: start with your clients/customers/stakeholders needs, translate that into corporate KPIs, and break down those KPIs into key deliverables that all functions needs to support and deliver. Example: back to my models, key KPI one's driving in HR could be (a) landing key organisation development initiatives OTIF, impacting to the xx% increase of revenue generation for "Capability", (b) xx% of shift on fix vs flex resources proportion, and declining score by xx% of complexity and bureaucracy in the upcoming employee survey for "Organisation" (c) and xx% increase of employee engagement score for "Culture" and xx% declining attrition rate for "Talent".
It might sounds a bit oversimplify, but as the spirit of my blogs are trying to boiled things down to its essence, I believe that "this is essentially what matters".
So, February is coming, go for it.