December 8, 2014

It’s that most wonderful time of year… of strategic plans and budgets, I mean! Right now, most organizations are wrapped up in setting expectations and targets for 2015. When you’re in the trenches of planning, let’s not overlook the single most important factor for your organization’s success – its people.  Managing our human resources is one of the most challenging responsibilities leaders have and, all too often, it’s under-addressed.

The single most important question you can ask during strategic planning is:

 Would I enthusiastically rehire each member of my team?

Verne Harnish (Scaling Up), Brad Smart (Topgrading), and Jim Collins (Good to Great), all insist that this question is critical for determining the ability to execute on any organizational plan or budget.

When you’re debating the answer, consider the following perspectives:

  • Is someone who was right for the job in the past still good for the job as it is needed for the future?
  • Does each employee have the potential to continue to learn and lead?
  • Are they a good fit for your organization’s culture?

An employee who has solid technical skills and abilities but is missing the capacity to lead, or isn’t living your company’s core values, or doesn’t suit the direction of the business is no longer an “A player” for your organization.

If the answer is “no” to the question of enthusiastically rehiring, determine your next steps:

  • Provide training and development, or
  • Move them to another role, or
  • Replace them.

This process of evaluating your people isn’t just relevant for managers and their employees – it also applies to Boards of Directors who may need to reevaluate their CEOs. It’s a crucial conversation for businesses that are transitioning from start-up to scaling up. And don’t overlook the important Executive Assistants – they are major contributors to the success of the leaders they support. Jack Daly, author of Hyper Sales Growth tells leaders around the world:

If you don’t have an assistant, you are an assistant!

With so much focus placed on 2015 priorities and budgets, none of this planning matters if the organization does not have the right people for the future.