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How clear are your organization’s plans for the coming year?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How clear are your organization’s plans for the coming year?

  • Very — priorities and direction are clearly set: 31.72%
  • Somewhat — we generally know where we’re headed: 39.25%
  • Not very — the priorities and direction aren’t well-articulated: 22.04%
  • Not at all — we have no idea where we’re headed: 6.99%

Set direction early but shift as needed. While it’s great that so many of you have set direction clearly (and those who haven’t need to get on the stick quickly so the organization doesn’t flounder), beware of hanging onto that direction for too long. Too often we let our direction drive budgets which drive decisions. When market conditions shift, you need to quickly reassess your direction (and your budgets!) and reallocate or redirect as appropriate. We often become a slave to the numbers, and in doing so we miss market opportunities or worse, we harm the organization. Be ready and able to shift direction as needed.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”