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Quarterly away days

When it comes to business development and goal setting one idea is to create a “90-Day World”.

After creating a long term (big picture) vision for your business you can develop a more specific three-year picture with a detailed one-year plan which you can break into quarters. This links your immediate focus to longer term goals and helps you:

  • Stay on-track
  • Not to feel overwhelmed
  • Keep everyone aligned

The quarterly meeting is an opportunity to work ON the business should be a full one-day offsite session to avoid distractions.

The recommended agenda has seven elements:

  • Personal introduction
  • Review of the past quarter
  • Review of the vision
  • Next quarter’s rocks
  • Key issues
  • Next steps
  • Conclusion

The personal introduction is where everyone shares fives things:

  • Good personal news in the last 90-days
  • Good business news in the last 90-days
  • What’s working well in the business
  • What’s not working well in the business
  • Expectations for the day

The review of the past quarter includes:

  • Review of the key numbers; financial and non-financial
  • Business and team rocks*

*Rocks are goals and the need to be specific, measurable and attainable. They are the things that you need to crack in 90-days. There should only be 3-7 of the most important priorities – this will give you focus and help move the business forward one 90-day period at a time. One person from the leadership team should be accountable for each rock.

The term “rocks” comes from the analogy of putting rocks, pebbles and sand into a jar. If you put the sand and pebbles (small stuff) in first you won’t fit all the rocks in. Rocks are the big important things that often get overlooked because we are busy with the detail.

The review of the vision helps refresh everyone’s memory of the big picture and ensures everyone’s on the same page. This helps set better rocks for the next quarter.

The review of the key issues is where you start to discuss and resolve key issues from the last quarter. Some of these may already be covered in the rocks.

The “next steps” ensures that everyone is clear on what is going to happen and the conclusion wraps up the meeting with:

  • Feedback on the meeting
  • If expectations where met
  • Score of the meeting

If you use the idea of a 90-day world and the agenda let us know how you get on.

Image from Flickr by Yohann Legrand.

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