Poor third quarter: two-thirds of it is trying to get people to pay attention. July and August are hard enough to get three people to a meeting let alone hold a reflective review of the organization’s strategy execution.
No matter. September makes up for it. Everyone’s back with a passion. Indeed, as many people remark, September is almost more New Year’s than New Year’s.
So, what better time is there to take advantage of this time of year. Why?
One: people should largely have had time to recharge their mental batteries. Even if summer was hectic, it was likely on other items, giving a nice shot of perspective to the core mission of the organization. A change is as good as a rest.
Two: A goodly chunk of the calendar year has passed so you should have some pretty compelling data on how you’re doing against your balanced scorecard: financially, customer/client/member/audience, process performance, and learning & growth. Are you on track against your objectives and targets? Do your projects provide a “green” status or is something troubling in their execution? There’s still time for some in-year course-correction. Prune hard.
Three: Everyone’s ramping up for budgets and strategies for the following year so you might as well take this opportunity for continuity. Kinda basic.
So, the end of Q3 provides the perfect opportunity to blend the past and the future with a bunch of fresh-off-the-barbecue people. Before your calendar is stuffed, get together for some loose discussion about your cause-and-effect stream: what’s causing what; what’s not causing what. Look at your strategy map.
September is a great month – actually, just the first two weeks – for squeezing in some quality strategy time.