A paper aeroplane with the shadow of a real aeroplane

How to Easily Achieve Your Big Goals

I ran my 99th Parkrun on Saturday! For those that haven’t come across this phenomenon, Parkrun is a free, timed 5km running event which takes place across 540+ locations across the UK (and more across the world) at 9 am every Saturday morning.  My next Parkrun will mean that I join the “100 club” and I’ll be rewarded with a lovely t-shirt! The organisers will also mention my achievement before the run, along with others who are reaching 50, 100 or even 250 runs.

Emma and Peter in front of the Golden Gate Bridge with Parkrun signAs I ran around on Saturday I considered my journey to get to number 99. My first parkrun was in November 2013, nearly 5 years ago. I went along to find out what all the fuss was about and have been going along steadily ever since. It’s a way to keep fit and to push my running fitness in a different way to going for a jog on my own. I’ve been a tourist (visiting different sites around the UK, and even managing to find one in San Francisco), but usually run around the route at York racecourse. When I first started, 100 runs seemed a long way away. But by going back week by week, the numbers stacked up – and 5 years later I’m running round in a pretty decent time, and enjoying it immensely.

Chunking down

That reflection led me to consider how this is reflected in other goals in life and I realised there was an immediate running link at a lower level. Quite often I get to the start line on a Saturday and I’m tired, I’ve been out the night before, had a hard week plus all number of other excuses and the only goal I have is to get around the 5k. I know that all I have to do is keep on putting one foot after the other, one step at a time, one breath at a time and I will get there. Once again the big goal is broken down into small, manageable steps and before I know it I’ve done it.

So how can we use this to achieve big things?

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Monitor your Business Performance

Out of all the things you do, do you know what creates the most value for your business? Does the performance data you capture actually link to the specific aims you have for the business or is it just the info you think you should track, which would tell you something if you just had time to process it?

Imagine being able to quickly review that data and get an immediate impression of how things are going in the business and how well things are progressing against your goals. Imagine being able to identify where effort is being wasted and quickly refocus that effort on something more valuable.

A natural progression from a business plan is to identify a set of metrics which are easy to capture which will help you to monitor progress against the plan and the success of the strategy, allowing you to review and adapt where effort is invested and get the most value for the business.

I work with clients to identify success criteria across different areas of the business, identify key metrics to monitor and then provide support in reviewing the results against the success criteria in order to adapt and improve performance further based on these results.

A paper aeroplane with the shadow of a real aeroplane

Develop a Vision for your Business

Does your reality fit to your original dreams for your business? Does what you do on a day-to-day basis match what you envisioned yourself doing when you first started working in your business? Do you feel so overwhelmed by the difference between reality and your dreams that you don’t know where to start?

What if you could develop your dreams into a vision so that you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste it as if you could step right into it? Imagine the inspiration this could give you to make it happen, and how well you would be able to communicate it to your staff, your customers, and investors – and see get them excited too.

Building on a number of different creative approaches such as vision boards, goal mapping, and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques I will work with you to develop a compelling vision, identify how best to communicate to others – and then help you to break it down into smaller goals so you know how that everything you do contributes towards it.

Open book with lots of ideas emerging above it

Planning for Business Success

When was the last time you looked at your business plan? Is it something which you use on a day to day basis, or, as with many companies, is it sitting dusty on a shelf somewhere – a plan which was written for someone else to tick some boxes (for the bank for investors) and then filed away and forgotten about?

How powerful would it be if that plan realistically captured your ideas for the business including how you wanted it to develop and evolve? Imagine if this plan was easy to monitor and update so that you could track progress against goals. Even keeping a business delivering at the same level week on week requires planning – making sure that customers continue to buy from you, keeping products relevant and that you continue to stand out against competitors.

Capturing ideas and putting a realistic and structured plan around them can be a real challenge, especially when there are multiple stakeholders who all need to agree. Often the process of keeping the plan up to date with relevant information can be an overhead in time, which you just can’t afford.

I work with clients either one-to-one or in teams to turn their vision and ideas for the business into a concrete and realistic plan, captured in a format which fits what they need to keep it up to date and relevant.  I also structure workshops and group sessions to communicate these plans to others in a way that gets their buy-in.

 

“I found having honest and independent feedback on the way we were conducting our planning tasks was particularly useful” 

Matt Pilmoor, Flightworks

Getting the Most from Your Team

How effective are the teams you work in? Do they work together, appreciating the strengths of all parties or do you find yourself in discussions and disagreements which really hold the business back?

For teams to work most effectively together they need to have a common goal which they are all committed to, whether this is the success of the business overall or a project or activity within the business. In addition they need an understanding of each others’ motivations and interest in achieving the goal. Without this understanding conflict often arises, either openly or hidden, which interferes with the performance of the team and results in increased time and cost to achieve the goal as well as unhappy people.

I work with teams to help them to understand and agree their common goal, share what’s important to them in a safe environment, breaking down barriers and getting them in a place where they are able to perform most effectively. I can work one-to-one with individual team members as well as facilitating teambuilding sessions, where possible building the outcomes from profiling tools such as Myers Briggs, DISC, Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI) and Belbins.

lightbulb with element saying ideas

Innovate New Offerings

How do you stay ahead of your competition? Does the culture of your business encourage innovation and new ideas? Do those ideas get put into practice or do they get stuck as concepts with no ownership and no one progressing them?

It’s common for people to become focused on just delivering on their job, especially when they are busy, making it difficult for them to justify taking the time out to talk to others and feed in their ideas. New ideas for products, process improvements, better ways of doing business and working with customers are all important for a business to thrive. These ideas often come from breaking down boundaries between areas of the business, getting people talking to each other, sharing challenges and working together to find ways to address them.

I work with clients to design and deliver facilitated workshops which create the space and time to allow people to think, talk and develop new ideas. The facilitation ensures that the time spent is focused on delivering value for the business, with a follow up plan in place so that people come away feeling that their time has been well spent. It also ensures that everyone has the opportunity to contribute, not just the people that shout the loudest.