Believe it or not, now is the time to start preparing your team for a successful 2018 and beyond.

And, a critical part of that planning is the dreaded all-agency meeting.

Come on, admit it, nobody likes these meetings. They are filled with platitudes, grandiose commitments, replays of previous meetings, lack take-away actions, and, being honest, the only reason they happen is out of obligation.

And, because these meetings are so insufferable is the reason we avoid one of the key elements that would actually make them productive and enjoyable: doing them quarterly.

One thing is certain for your 2018, it will require changes in the way you work. Of course, change is nothing new, but this pace of change will continue to escalate and put increasing pressure on you and your team. The thing with pressure is, it will either break you down or make you stronger.

The pace of change is faster than it’s ever been before, but it’s also slower than it will ever be again.

Leave nothing to chance

With change, you have two options. You either react to it as it finds you or you take control of it by determining what the future will look like for you. Commit to the latter.

Of course, leadership can’t effectively determine the organizational future without a complete and cohesive team behind them. Leadership’s approach to dealing with change will determine that cohesiveness.

Are we there yet?

It’s hard to know if you’re there yet if it isn’t clear to everyone where you are going.

All too often, leadership has a vision of the future that isn’t entirely clear to the rest of the team. Because of that, when a new initiative is introduced, at best, the team rolls their eyes, forces a grin, and says under their breath, “Hold on, this too shall pass.” And, it usually does. At worst, the team actively fights against the new initiative.

However, if leadership takes the time to share their vision, explain why it’s important for both the agency and the individuals, introduce a plan of how to make it a reality, and is honest with everyone about how they will be impacted and expected to contribute, then, instead of fighting against your new initiative, you will most likely find a team fighting with you to put it in place.

Plan for your success

As shocking as it may sound, most agencies we talk to as prospects have no plan in place to guide their actions. Given the unprecedented level of change this industry is going through, this is completely unacceptable. You have to have a plan!

The key elements are:

  • An honest review of where you are right now
  • A solid vision of where you want to go
  • A structured plan to grow from the reality of today to the vision of tomorrow
  • A communication strategy to keep the entire team in the know

Of course, this is a HIGH level approach, and there are much deeper details that you will eventually want to include.

To help you pull all of this together, we have built a template for you to use as you build your own Agency Annual Plan. Yes, it will take time and energy to pull it together but this is your success we are talking about.

The results will definitely be worth the effort.

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