• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Starting with why

Starting

At the beginning of every year, I always ask my coaching and corporate clients to follow their whys. Starting with why gives meaning to every day, activity, decision, and effort you put into life. Your why is the primary reason for setting out in the morning, enduring pain while awaiting the gain. Your why is your direction.

December is here. December was far away from us when we started 2021. But we are in December now. It is time to account for the last eleven months. For corporate organisations, the management is either pleased or worried about presenting the outcome to the shareholders. For individuals, it is either you have made progress or are still sleeping on your dreams. December is an exciting period for those who start the year with why and have painstakingly travelled on the road to their whys.

The road to any journey be it business or personal, starts with the realisation that you can do or be what you want to be. If you don’t have the requisite belief, you won’t get to the point of realisation. The realisation that an organisation can reduce its attrition rate, for example, will lead to improved employee engagement and better workplace practices. The realisation births the objective. The objective is the prerequisite to the action plan. The action plan gives birth to the discipline to execute the action plan.

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One of my private coaching clients has dreamed of ‘Japa’ for five years. They set the objectives to relocate from Nigeria in 2015. Still, they did nothing about their dreams except keeping the dream a dream. By the way, the word ‘Japa’ is a recent slogan that means the desire to relocate out of Nigeria in search of greener pastures. My ‘Japa’ client has a compelling reason that is health-related. However, he did nothing with his wife on realising their dream despite the realisation that they have what it takes to ‘Japa’. In one of my coaching engagements with my client, I used the road template to ensure their plans were always apparent to them. Today, they have are about to make payments for a resident visa abroad and plans to ‘Japa’ is almost realised.

Similarly, a corporate client has doubled the productivity level of its staff, improved turnover, increased employee engagement and, in top-level view, achieved expanded brand image and perception for the business.

What makes the difference? They started with WHY and took action following the road to a fulfilling 2021 December.

Incidentally, the time to start prodding on the why for 2022 is now. As you count the achievement of 2021 or the regrets, the time to analyse, plan and decide the road to ply in the coming year is now. The analysis of where you are now in terms of critical deliverables like sales turnover, contributions, profitability, impact, market share, stakeholder engagement, and brand value of your organisation and where you want to be by December 2022 starts now. Where you are now and where you want to be by the end of 2022 are different. The difference is the gap your action must bridge through incremental efforts and achievement. There must be a movement toward your objectives.

If starting with why is essential in increasing productivity and performance, what are the steps to take, and when should I do that?

The first step is to realise you can do better. You can achieve any set objectives in business and personal life if they are well identified and supported with action.

Secondary to realisation is to set a smart objective—document where and what you want to be in the next twelve months. In setting goals, do not fail to write out what will be required in terms of actions and resources to achieve your objectives. Are they available, or will you need to source the right competence, help or support?

Following the identification of the actions and the resources is outlining the timeframe. Break your efforts and expectations into a sprint. Each sprint could be weekly or monthly. The sprints are like a sub-project where efforts are matched with outcomes. At the end of each sprint, it is essential to reflect, celebrate and take learning points into the next sprint.

The concept of starting with whys apply to individuals, corporate organisations, be it profit or not for profit entities. The advantages of conceptualising and visualising your 2022 objectives cannot be overemphasised. They are the roadmap for your fulfilment and progress in your business and private life.