Bywater Consulting Group, LLC
Liz Bywater, PhD

February 2012

Create a Success Plan for a Winning New Year

Isn't it amazing just how quickly the holiday season fades into memory and you arrive right back in the thick of things at work? Despite the best of intentions - and perhaps a week of well-deserved vacation - it's all too easy to get caught up in reaction-mode, putting out daily fires and trying to keep your head above water.

If you've not already taken time to step back and reflect upon your approach to the year ahead, you may be missing the opportunity to make 2012 your best, most successful year yet.

Ask yourself: Have I planned well for the demands, challenges and opportunities before me? Do I know where I need to focus my attention and my efforts? Have I put into place the mechanisms for keeping the right things top-of-mind on a daily basis?

Thoughtful reflection, prioritizing, strategizing and careful planning are fundamental to making the most of what lies ahead. As a framework, consider the following three areas:

Self Development. Do you have all the skills and competencies you'll need for success in 2012? How about the interpersonal savvy? Is your approach to leadership what it needs to be? How well is your style going to work, given the challenges you will face in the coming months and beyond? Think about where you'll need to move the needle and create a plan for doing so. Engage a partner — a coach, your boss, a peer, mentor or family member — who can help you stayed focused and provide support, feedback and a sense of accountability as you work your plan.

Team Development. Do you have the right people in place to accomplish your goals for 2012? Who needs to be coached, mentored, trained or given new developmental opportunities in the new year? Who is ready for the next level of responsibility? Take the time to reflect upon the members of your team, as individuals and as contributors to the team as a whole. Remember, you may need to improve the interpersonal dynamics of the team to enable everyone to do his or her best work.

Stakeholder Engagement. Who are the people you'll need to influence, engage and motivate? How well do you know them? How well do they know you? Set a plan for developing and building upon key relationships throughout the organization. Think about ways of enhancing credibility and trust, developing effective channels of communication and working towards mutually rewarding goals and objectives. Bear in mind, relationships are the key to getting things done.

As busy as you may be, it's essential to set aside plenty of time to reflect upon your approach to the new year. Get a plan in place and use it as a daily reminder of where you're going and how you intend to get there. It's a surefire strategy for success in 2012.

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Organizational Consulting:

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