For organizations that follow the calendar year, your year-end push is underway. If you are in sales, you and your teams are eager to push your numbers up. If in other functions, year-end is typically characterized by leading the team to finalize deliverables. The immediate near term calls for two things. First, focus on the highest priorities to accomplish your goals in the limited amount of time left this year.  Second, take the time to enjoy the holiday, cherish family and friends, and recharge yourself for 2018.   Upon your return, take the time to determine if you and your team accomplished the goals you set out earlier in the year.

The following is a simple framework to help you REFLECT and then plan more effectively in 2018:

Review the appropriate business analytics and reports to evaluate performance, identify trends, and undergo a data driven, evidence-based approach.

Evaluate if you accomplished what you set out to do in your business/account plans. If the answer is yes, determine what efforts led to your success? If no, assess what the roadblocks were that impeded achievement of the stated goals.

Focus on the critical few priorities. Assess what distracted you from achieving your goals. What were the opportunity costs associated with where you typically spent your time or dedicated resources? What did you do to stay aligned and focused on the broader strategic priorities?

Learn from your experiences. Determine what worked, identify where you fell short, and leverage these learnings going forward.

Embrace the fact that things are changing quickly in the healthcare marketplace and in your organization. Think about where you or your team’s agility can result in quicker responses. Where could more proactive scenario planning and strategic thinking have led to better results?

Commit to conducting regular reviews and recalibrate plans when changing circumstances dictate. Did you look at your plans on a regular basis? Were you providing updates to your manager and others on plan success?

Thank all of the people who helped you achieve your goals. In today’s complex and challenging business environment, most people rely on others to accomplish results. Take the time to acknowledge who helped and how. Evaluate where greater levels of collaboration and communication would help going forward. Recognize others for their collaborative behaviors.

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 doing in 2018?” “What support will I need?” Capture these answers and discuss them with your manager during year-end performance discussions.

Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, animal health medicines, and consumer products, as well as international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

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