By Eugene Terk, Align VP Business Development and Legal Counsel
A Fresh Start
As a historically challenging year comes to a close, many business leaders are ready to hit restart. A new year, like a new sports season, brings optimism, renewal, and the potential that “This could be our year.” The change that comes with a new year however will be only superficial if teams do not adjust and adapt their strategy to accelerate performance.
Unfortunately the challenges of 2020- a global pandemic and the economic crisis that came with it- will follow us into the start of 2021. With so many variables in play, predicting the rate of recovery over the next year is mostly guesswork. Preparing your team to make 2021 a Championship year, however, can still follow proven best practices for crafting strategy that adapts to an uncertain reality.
With the challenge of planning for 2021 top of mind, we are thrilled to host Verne Harnish, founder of Entrepreneur’s Organization and Scaling Up, for an exclusive, free webinar “FAST Goals: Game Plan for 2021” on December 16th, 2020 at 2 PM Eastern Time. Read on to learn more!
The Championship Mentality
At age 35, many experts predicted Lebron James’ dominance of the NBA was in decline. In 2019, James suffered the first major injury of his career and his Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs.
But in 2020, a year where everything else in the world fell apart, James emerged looking as strong and in control as ever when the NBA restarted in “the bubble”. The Lakers, a season after an embarrassing finish, cruised to the championship and Lebron won his 4th Finals MVP Award.
A proven champion, Lebron took his game to the next level to adapt to a league becoming younger and faster. For the first time in his career, James led the league in assists, demonstrating an emphasis on elevating those around him, like fellow superstar Anthony Davis. Facing new safety protocols, the isolation of the bubble, and the pressure of being one of America’s best known black celebrities at a time of racial reckoning, King James still managed to focus his team on achieving their ultimate goal: winning a championship. As he told reporters, “It feels like five years, but I’m as locked in as I have been in my career.”
Aligning a team on the journey to success requires answering a few key questions: Does your team know their focus in 2021? Do you have a game plan to get there? Are you ready to make in-game adjustments to your plan to adapt to new information?
Building a successful business, like building a championship sports team, requires a process for creating and pivoting focus, says Harnish. In his upcoming webinar, Verne will share strategies for unlocking the secrets of championship teams to achieve your 2021 goals regardless of what the coming year holds.
The Great Game of Business
For Harnish, a championship season starts with a plan. Beyond simply setting revenue targets and deadlines, your plan should set the foundations of your team identity. What does your team value? Why is success worth pursuing? How will your next year take you closer to your Big Hairy Audacious Goal?
The author of some of the most-read business books on strategy, Harnish understands that the success of any process relies on the people who make it happen. With personal, political, and economic uncertainty all around, leaders looking to elevate their people in 2021 will need to create plans resilient to unforeseen circumstances.
In this webinar, Verne will explain why the classic paradigm of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound) will not go far enough in driving success in 2021. Simply setting great goals for the year will not be sufficient given the unpredictable months ahead. Instead, Harnish proposes a new framework: FAST goals (Frequently Discussed, Ambitious, Specific, Transparent).
In 2021, Verne says, “set it and forget it” planning will certainly fall short. Plans that become living, breathing documents in the organization will inform goals that are agile and adaptive to changing information. Championship teams like the Lakers never stop improving and adjusting and neither should your business.
As Verne’s good friend and mentor Jack Stack wrote in The Great Game of Business, “We tell people that they have the wrong idea about business, that it is really a Game—no more complicated than baseball, or golf or bowling. You don’t need to be an entrepreneurial genius like Sam Walton to succeed in business. What you do need is a willingness to learn the rules, master the fundamentals, and play together as a team.”
If you’re ready to take your team to the next level in 2021, you won’t want to miss Verne’s full webinar!
About Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is the founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), with more than 14,000 members worldwide. For 15 years he chaired EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” held at MIT, a program he still teaches today. Founder and CEO of Scaling Up, a global executive education and coaching company with more than 200 partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine.
He’s the author of the bestselling Mastering the Rockefeller Habits which has been translated into 9 languages; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times, for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. His latest book Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) has won eight major international book awards including the prestigious 2015 International Book Award for Best General Business book. In 2019, Verne partnered with Align to develop the Scaling Up Scoreboard, a software suite of tools to help companies implement the Scaling Up methodology.