3 Performance Based Questions for Positive Planning

 In Business Success, Effective goals and plans, Leadership Development, Organizational Change, Rick Conlow

What’s your game-plan for planning for the rest of the year, and into next year? Based on the US and world economies growth rates, most companies are below plan. That means most managers are under-performing. It doesn’t have to be you. Here’s a quick hitter reminder about how to plan better and ultimately achieve greater results.

You begin by gathering all the data and business intelligence you can from company and industry reports. Next, ask employees for their input in a planning meeting. Finally, what do your customers say? For external customers use customer experience reports and questionnaires. Survey or interview internal customers.  Search LinkedIn and see what people are talking about in groups or articles.  Once you have this information, ask yourself three purposeful but performance based questions.


3 Performance Based Question for Positive and Proactive Planning

Peter Drucker said, “Plans are often worthless, but planning is absolutely essential.”  It’s the thought process that’s golden for you and your team. Set aside all of the posturing and rhetoric, and any departmental or strategic planning needs to answer these three questions.

What’s working?

  • Recognize progress
  • Celebrate successes
  • Identify strengths
  • Learn from others (competitors, customers, co-workers, colleagues, experts)

What isn’t working?

  • Assess and review problems
  • Identify mistakes and learnings
  • Determine weaknesses
  • Estimate blind spots and vulnerabilities

What do we need do better or differently next time?


  • Visual and create a better future
  • Decide on priorities
  • Collectively create a few critical team goals and corresponding action plans
  • Aim for continuous improvement
  • Establish execution steps, support and follow-up

One organization we worked with was having a slow year. They brought the key managers together, and me to help to facilitate a robust creative planning process for the final quarter. With a new direction, and increased vigor, they grew the business 30%. With adaptations for the new year, another 40% was gained. (same products, people, processes and pricing) The talent and potential was always there. The difference came from the buy-in from the team achieved through the planning process, and the on-going coaching in the execution strategies.  This kind of reinforcement and support often determines whether you win or lose. Finally, Gloria Steinem said, “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”

By the way, do you want to elevate your coaching effectiveness and success? If so, check out this complimentary Coaching for Excellence article.

SuperstarLeadershipBook-compressorOr, do you want a proven game-plan for career success? If so, check out Doug and Rick’s Superstar Leadership book. 

Rick Conlow, CEO/Founder, Rick Conlow International
Rick Conlow International is a business consulting and training company that coaches leaders to achieve record-breaking performances in sales growth, customer experience improvement, employee engagement and leadership effectiveness. It also has online resources to coach and train any and all managers to higher levels of success.
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