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Ken Keller: A few end-of-the-year questions for your company

Brain Food for Business Owners

Posted: November 27, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 27, 2011 1:30 a.m.

The end of the year is just a few short weeks away. As the holiday season begins in the workplace, it becomes a time of reflection and many look forward to a better year ahead.

The passing of the year leads to considering the choices made, and the choices passed on, so that what was learned can be used to make whatever changes are needed to improve the organization in the next 12 months.

However, before looking ahead, it is appropriate to take inventory of what has been accomplished in the current year. This
list of questions can be used to jump-start the annual review.

What 10 significant things were accomplished this year? Were those celebrated?

What has the organization done to be proud of? Did everyone know about these successes?

If five things could be done differently in the business, what would they be? What can be learned from this?

What major obstacles were overcome this year? Did the company attack them or did these things attack the company?

Who are the top ten contributing employees?

When were the top ten contributing employees thanked?

Who are the five largest customers? When was the last time they were thanked for their trust?

What did not get accomplished that should have?

What regrets exist for the year?

What were the five major learning experiences this year of each member of the leadership team?

What did the company learn this year? What price was paid for this learning?

What will the leadership team avoid doing going forward?

What five things will the company accomplish in the next 12 months?

What are the top five things each person in the leadership team will accomplish in the year ahead?

When 2012 comes to and end, what will the company be most proud of? 

What are the five major obstacles facing the organization as it looks ahead to the year ahead?  To whom will be assigned the task of dealing with these obstacles?

Who are the five least contributing employees? What are the plans to engage them at a higher level or to let them move on?

What will the company do this year that did not happen this year?

What are five areas of major expense reduction focus in 2012? 

What are the ten reasons things fail to get done in the company? Who will be assigned to eliminate these roadblocks?

Is enough time being spent training and educating individuals so that they can take on more responsibilities? What is the plan and calendar for making this actually happen?

What are the top 5 things every manager can start delegating or stop doing altogether? 

What are ten things that could unexpectedly damage the organization? Assemble a list and assign an individual to begin the process of developing contingency plans to deal with these threats.

How is the company calendar working? All employee meetings? Client business reviews? Vendor reviews?

Is compensation competitive? Are benefits competitive?

Is the business any closer to ending ATANA, “All Talk and No Action” in 2012? ATANA begins with the owner delegating both responsibility and authority and providing the tools and resources while holding people accountable for getting things done.

Ken Keller is CEO of STAR Business Consulting Inc., a company that works with companies interested in growing top line revenue. He can be reached at (661) 645-7086 or at Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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