The Year in Review

You may be familiar with the effective “What should we start doing, stop doing, and keep doing?” practice that helps managers learn what worked well and what didn’t in their organizations (and if you weren’t, now you are – it’s a good one). Adding these questions to the beginning of the exercise will bring further depth to the conversation.

To Prepare

Schedule time with your team to perform a year in review exercise. Send the following questions in advance and have all participants come to the meeting with written answers.

The Review

  1. List three accomplishments from the past year you are most proud of (and explain why).
  2. Whom on the management team would you like to acknowledge as being particularly helpful (and why)?
  3. Whom of all non-management team members would you like to acknowledge as being particularly helpful (and why)?

Looking Forward

  1. What one thing should we do differently this year (and how)?
  2. What is your one word personal theme for the year? (NB: This is a REALLY hard exercise for someone who hasn’t done it before. You may choose to skip this question if it isn’t already part of your corporate management practice to be introduced later).
  3. What should we start doing that we aren’t already?
  4. What should we keep doing?
  5. What should we stop doing to make room for the new?

In the Meeting

Go around the room for participants to read their answers aloud. Discuss their responses as a group.

Following Up

  • Review the responses to the first three questions at your next all staff meeting. Consider having the staff write their answers to each question before you reveal management’s responses.
  • Hold each other accountable to the commitments made in the responses to questions 4 – 8. The simplest way to do this is to review all the responses on a monthly or quarterly basis in your management meeting. This reminder will help keep you on track with the commitments that still make sense in today’s context. And when they no longer do, you can redirect your efforts.

This could be your best year yet!

Written By:
Tara Landes

Tara Landes is the Founder and President of Bellrock. She has spent over 20 years consulting and training in small to medium-sized enterprises. A sought-after speaker on a wide range of business topics, Tara has delivered workshops and seminars at conferences and industry associations across Canada. Tara obtained a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and earned an MBA from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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