Are you needing some new ideas in 2011?

As the new year starts, we are often involved in planning pursuits, everything from corporate strategy to the family holiday. Here are some good ideas to help you get off to a good start. I am also a huge fan of this very simple planning and prioritising model designed by Nancy White. Find out more here.

Nancy suggests we do five things to prioritise our activity. This is helpful for any group or team needing to plan for the year ahead.

1. Appreciate that everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has different strengths, knowledge and experience. It is our diversity that makes us strong. So gather the team together and appreciate that together we can create some great plans and make dreams come true.

2. Assess, discuss and rate where your strengths as a team lie. It may be that you have everything you need in your team.  Give everyone the opportunity to contribute and participate. Listen carefully to each other. Work to further your strengths, and this will lift our overall performance.

3. Prioritise, and work out where you want to put your energy. Do you want to do more of what you already do well, or do you want to work on an area of weakness?  Remember to keep things in balance. You cannot solely work on weaknesses nor solely work in your areas of strength.  Agree which areas need attention, and agree when this will occur.

4. Reach out, firstly to each other and then your wider community.  Find out who you can learn from and who you can share with. If the community does not yet exist you may need to create and foster it. Seek out people that have the knowledge, experience and values you need.

5. Connect, share, learn and improve. Make sure everyone has all the resources they need.  Create your resource base and communication base online. Use shared calendars, wikis, blogs and other applications to keep everyone informed, collaborating, participating and engaged.  Work out who you need to work with in your wider community and  ensure you draw them in. You will find it easier to get funding and support when your external stakeholders have an active interest in your work.  Learning is key to improving your performance so make it easy to learn.

Good luck with the planning.  In the next blog post we will discuss goal setting.

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