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Bring Fresh Energy to 2023

02/28/2023

For millions of people, turning the calendar page to a new year represents much more than simply advancing a month. It initiates a period of introspection and the identification of specific goals: the New Year’s Resolution.

The beginning of a new year is also an opportune time for professionals and businesses to refresh their goals and, more importantly, the energy and enthusiasm for achieving them at every level in the organization.

“December is often a time of reflection and assessing performance against annual goals, and then come January it’s time to get energized about upcoming challenges,” says Chad Moller, FCCS CEO. “Employees often want assurance from leaders that they’ve given thought to the year ahead, identified what’s important for the organization, and what’s going to be needed from them individually to set the roadmap for the year.”

The annual resetting process takes time and energy, and is facilitated with a regroupingof the leadership team to identify, prioritize and communicate initiatives. To refresh its team’s energy for the coming year, FCCS holds an annual employee kick-off meeting each January, bringing remote employees to its Colorado headquarters to help instill a positive and powerful mindset for the year to come.

“We spend some time at the annual meeting recognizing last year’s achievements and appreciating individual accomplishments, but the bulk of our time is focused on the future, sharing company goals with clarity and enthusiasm so our employees are motivated and excited about their work,” says Chad.

Fresh energy can also be welcome in the boardroom, as directors consider both the strategic direction for the organization and how they can support the management team in executing their vision. The beginning of the year is a prime time for boards to consider their self-evaluation process to make it a powerful best practice to enhance and improve their governance.

“The board should take a fresh look into what they can learn to enhance their governance and the value they bring to the organization, to set the framework for the year,” says Leslie Hilton, Vice President of Governance/Board Development. “Each director should also assess their own contributions and identify specific areas of insight and knowledge they’d like to expand in service to the board’s effectiveness.”

The annual reassessment process is a natural time to consider refreshing the organization’s culture, either taking it in a new direction or refreshing communications supporting the culture, keeping in mind that a reminder can be helpful given the inevitable staff and leadership changes.

“Restating your thoughts and philosophy around leadership and strategy so all your employees understand and are pointed in the same direction helps your leaders, teams and individuals feel relevant to the organization’s goals,” says Jay Lux, FCCS Vice President of Leadership and Organizational Development. “Employee engagement surveys can also provide actionable insight in your organizational culture, as can focused and regular culture surveys, as long as leaders are very clear about the culture they want to create.”

Leaders can also take the beginning of the year to consider their own leadership style and personal definition of good leadership, and make a conscious decision to refresh their approach. Soliciting feedback from team members and colleagues, or tools like a 360 assessment, can help target your leadership refresh. Individual contributors, as well, can conduct a self-assessment as the foundation for a renewed enthusiasm for professional growth.

“Ask yourself what you’re curious about, or what you could learn to add new value to the organization, or what you can do to enhance your capabilities and knowledge, and then make a plan,” says Jean Cantey Segal, Chief Learning Officer at FCCS. “Learning and development is an essential component of everyone’s growth, regardless of all the distractions we face, so it’s important to foster a mindset that prioritizes our goals.”

Along with refreshing professional goals and development strategies, it’s also beneficial to focus on refreshing your professional network each year. Jeannie Clinkenbeard, Director and Senior Consultant, FCCS Learning and Consulting, recommends making a conscious choice to reach out to professional groups or individuals to expand and enrich your network.

“This year, for example, I’m reengaging with an industry group I’d fallen away from, and a hobby group to support a personal interest,” says Jeannie. “It can take energy we don’t always feel we have to push past our inertia, but we’re not usually sorry we tried a new thing. The important thing is to create an actionable plan with realistic milestones.”

Michele Padilla, also a Director and Senior Consultant with FCCS, agrees, recommending we each create a concrete plan that’s fully scheduled on the calendar, and includes time set aside for reflection and personal reinvigoration.

“Our energy for our work and our life is refreshed when we have an external form of relaxation that allows us to reset to a positive outlook,” says Michele. “Whether it’s exercise or meditation or reading, clearing our heads for a time helps us refocus on what we need to get done with renewed energy and purpose.”

Bringing reinvigorated leaders together to focus on strategic planning toward refreshed goals will energize your teams with renewed purpose. To enable everyone to contribute to a robust discussion to set your business on a straight course for the year, consider engaging an external facilitator. FCCS facilitators can apply their understanding of cooperative business issues combined with expertise in group dynamics and a variety of proven techniques to optimize your planning discussions.

For more information about FCCS’ strategic planning and facilitation services, contact Jean Cantey Segal at 303.721.3278.

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