What a year 2020 became!  A new year is always supposed to be about establishing a vision, creating clarity, and preparing for the future.  The pandemic certainly changed what most organizations and individual leaders planned and expected.  Despite incredible challenges, taking time to REFLECT on the many learnings from this year is perhaps even more important than ever as we approach year end.  This newsletter updates the REFLECT framework shared in previous years and provides additional questions and considerations.

As you look back on 2020, take time to determine if you and your team accomplished the goals set out earlier in the year.  Acknowledge that many goals shifted due to new realities, and an unexpected and incredibly difficult business environment.  However, instead of accepting where you may have fallen short, take time to identify lessons learned, analyze your ability to adapt, and assess individual and team growth.

The following is a simple framework to help you REFLECT and then plan more effectively for 2021:

Review appropriate business analytics and reports to evaluate performance, identify trends, and use a data driven, evidence-based approach.  As a result of Covid-19 what changed with your customers?  Where are there new or other opportunities?

Evaluate if you accomplished what you set out in your business/account plans. If goals were met, determine what efforts led to your success? If not, acknowledge how the team and individuals overcame roadblocks, but may have come up short; especially working virtually.  How can these lessons be applied going forward?

Focus on a few critical priorities.  Priorities may continue to shift, so apply learnings from 2020 when appropriate.  Initially, organizational priorities focused on employee and customer safety, and as cases rise this may continue to be a challenge.  What were your critical priorities in 2020?  How did they change?  Will things that seemed important before remain critical going forward?

Learn from experiences. Determine what worked, identify where you fell short, and leverage these learnings going forward.  What did you learn about your marketplace and about specific customers?  What did you learn about your team and your ability to support each other?  What did you learn about your own ability to adapt and be agile?

Embrace that things are changing quickly in the healthcare marketplace and will to continue to evolve.  Acknowledge that your organization has or will shift strategic priorities to deal with the new business environment. Think about improving personal and team agility to generate quicker responses. Where could more proactive scenario planning and strategic thinking lead to better results?

Commit to conducting regular reviews and recalibrate plans when necessary.  Covid-19 and the resulting implications from a public health and economic perspective are not going away anytime soon.  Therefore, many organizations are revisiting and rolling out modified strategies.  It is equally important to agree on when and how strategic plans will be reviewed.  How do you review progress against plans?  Who do you need to involve in discussions?  What processes are in place to update your manager and others on plan adjustments and successes?

Thank all the people who stepped up during this difficult year to maintain business continuity and achieve goals.  In today’s complex and challenging business environment, most people must rely on partnerships with others to accomplish results. Take time to acknowledge who helped and how. Evaluate where greater levels of collaboration and communication would help going forward. Recognize others for their collaborative and supporting behaviors essential to getting work done in a virtual environment.

It is also very important to take time to reflect on “your own” personal growth and successes. Ask yourself, “What do I need to stop, start, and continue in 2021?” “What support will I need?” Capture these answers and discuss them with your manager during year-end performance discussions.

The suggested REFLECT framework can help you plan for and continue to adapt in 2021.  Please feel free to contact us for more information on our practice expertise in strategic execution or to deploy our 2020 Year-End Reflection Guide with your team.


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Change ManagementLTENOrganizational CultureBusiness PlanningNewslettersWendy L. HeckelmanChange Leadership Expert