“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
– Alvin Toffler

Using Lessons Learned to Chart Your 2016

Using Lessons Learned to Chart 2016

The end of the year naturally comes with a combination of nostalgia and excitement for the year ahead. It’s important, when looking back on the year, to do so with clear eyes. Doing this will depict where your team or business stands, and how it is poised for the future. A thorough look at any progress or unexpected changes throughout the year is harder than it looks, but the lessons learned will be invaluable the future of you and your business. This article will detail three business elements that are an excellent starting

Benefits of a close review

The primary benefit to close and thorough review of your business year is maintaining a familiarity with your business or team’s current standing. In addition to that, close reviews at the year’s end will help you accomplish the following: prepare for growth, set future goals, and make adjustments for lessons learned throughout the year.

Growth, development, and expansion is always on the mind when looking towards the future. Whether it be a bigger team or a broader reach, most managers have an idea of how they want to grow in 2016.

Year-end reviews are excellent for getting an idea of how the team or business is positioned for growth, financially, staff-wise, and other foundational elements. Also, reviews provide insight into the tools, organization, and structure necessary to support the growth. Once the who, what, and when is established, a clear outline of the process can be created, solidifying the roadmap for a successful 2016.

And if it’s not growth that’s the forefront of 2016’s business plan, a list of other goals surely will be. When doing the review, consider the goals of 2015. Whether or not they were met will affect the success of next year’s goals, and it’s important to think about how that carries forward. It’s also important to assess any external variables from this year that will play into future goals.

Every year has its ups and downs, and in Houston in particular, we’ve definitely had our share this year. Any setbacks or roadblocks from the year are lessons and areas of enlightenment. Use these newfound experiences and wisdom to make adjustments for the upcoming year.

Elements to review: Core activities

A full review is a complicated and detailed process that will vary from company to company, and team to team. But we think it’s important to focus on the core activities: client and external relationships. Financial results, and staff performance.

A major core element to assess is the status of your client and external relationships. This means relationships with clients, vendors, etc. When examining relationships, analyze the strength of your ongoing relationships. Really look into the quality of your service for your established business relationships and any new ones created this year. Use your measurement of the quality and success of your service to take an honest look at your performance and whether or not that affected the health of your relationships. This knowledge will guide you in further strengthening your relationships and creating even more in 2016.

Finances are a large indicator of a company’s health, so it’s naturally a core activity to examine. Tallying revenue and budget allocation for the year is critical to setting the budget for the next year. Also, think about whether your current financial structure will support your plans for growth, and whether or not adjustments need to be made for adaptation. A living financial management plan will ensure that a company has the flexibility to facilitate change.

When setting up for the future, take into account the skill and character balance of your current team. Which qualifications and talents within your team will carry you towards the future, and what do you need to round it out? Perhaps making room for those who bring a new dynamic will drive your team and company to your desired success.

It’s natural to reach the end of the year want to start fresh. And though the past is the past, the past is also the atmosphere that carries over into the New Year. So before we leap into the next adventure, we need to take stock of the lessons and experiences from the past. While there are many elements that go into assessing your business, the best starting point is to look at the core.