Last week, we walked you through how to set SMART goals for the New Year. We hope you’ve got a long list of great ideas in the works. But there’s another important process to consider before you set yourself up for success in 2022: you must figure out where you are now. Companies who don’t know where they are now surely can’t plan where they’re going in the future.
Today, we’ll walk you through a 4-step process to figure out the state of your business now. We like to call it the 4 Helpfuls.
During a 4 Helpfuls exercise, you’ll answer four questions:
What went right in 2021?
What went wrong?
What was missing from our business strategy?
What was confusing or could use clarity?
Here are a few tips for running a successful 4 Helpfuls meeting:
Get all the key players together. Having a variety of voices in different areas of the business and different levels is really helpful in getting a clear picture. Every rung of the ladder, from C-Suite to entry-level, can add something valuable to this conversation.
Create a spreadsheet and designate a note taker to keep track of the meeting. Here’s what it should look like:
Open the floor with the first question: What went right? It’s always helpful to set the tone of the meeting by starting out with the wins. They will encourage and affirm the team! Fill up that first column with everyone’s thoughts. At the end of the meeting, this will be your list of things to optimize in the new year.
Next up: What went wrong? Even if you’ve had a crazy successful year, we’re willing to bet there were some mistakes along the way. It’s not fun to dwell on shortcoming or hiccups in your business, but it’s so important. At the end of the meeting, this will be your list of things to change or improve upon in the future. Lots of really strong goals can come out of this section.
The next question to talk through: What was missing from our business strategy? This is a super rich portion of the meeting. It’s a great opportunity for the team to dream big. At the end of the meeting, this will be your list of things to consider adding to your strategy in the new year. Another great place to find some SMART goals.
Finally, address what was confusing or could use clarity. Maybe your messaging to consumers wasn’t clear, or maybe job functions and individual roles were fuzzy. Get all these ideas in the spreadsheet and you’ll have a clearer picture of what needs to be clarified moving forward.
And that’s it! The 4 Helpfuls exercise is a simple, all-hands-on-deck approach to auditing your performance over the course of the year (or quarter, or after a big project...really, you can do a 4 Helpfuls meeting at any time). Have your team try it out and see how much stronger your goal-setting conversations will be!
Need help taking action on your 2022 goals? Click Services at the top of this page to see everything we offer, and schedule a free consultation now!
Dylan Wickliffe is the VP of Growth at media junction® and the first team member in our Nashville office. With eclectic experience ranging from the Marine Corps, to ministry, to SaaS, and even entrepreneurship, Dylan has learned to take pride in his unique approach to sales: "Be human, work together, and figure it out. The rest will work itself out."