Planning for Change

04 Mar 2021, Lynette McFadden

Planning for Change

So here we go again. Intermittent déjà vu and another period of challenge and change with Alert Levels altering and patience slowly eroding in places.

It’s the life all of us have come to know and the reality is that it’s likely to be with us all for a long time yet, and what I’m referring to are the effects of a lengthy pandemic on our own individual journeys and psyche.

It requires resilience and fortitude to manage yourself, your life, your family and your business during all of this, so it’s important to spend time working on these capabilities. Personally, I do this best with a plan in my sights and a team by my side, which takes me to our annual business planning session.

With the benefit of guidance from extraordinary mentors Gilbert Enoka and Paul Wright, our leadership team and I have been able to think deeply about what’s needed in our business over the next twelve months (24 months is too far!) – and also what constantly distinguishes great teams.

You could easily think that there’s nothing new to consider or develop when you’ve worked on this for over two decades, but the opposite is true and good mentors will push you to enter that space, reminding us that “it’s about movement, not judgement.”

So, to what I’ve learnt.

Any planning session I’ve been party to – and with the initial plan always followed by quarterly reviews, there have been a lot of them – has always been preceded by an educative session.

This year’s session involved a study I knew of but hadn’t considered in depth, and strangely enough it was the second presentation in a week that referred to this same organisation: the US Navy SEALs. Although I don’t personally relate to the tasks this elite group undertake, I’m now more aware of the incredible trust required for them to function, making them one of the highest performing organisations in the world.

The literature pointed out that this group requires great character and commitment to service, technical expertise, physical ability and the capacity to cope with enormous stress.

All of these attributes are found in successful teams and businesses, and I’m reminded of how essential these strengths are when I think about the times we are working in. So much evolution, from the 2020 lockdown, corresponding fears and market consequences, to the never-predicted-by-anyone pre-Christmas property grab where spectacular auctions and strong results for owners fuelled an incredible platform for prices never seen before, to another period in Level Two right now (as this article is written).

It’s hard to know where the market’s going to go as we navigate the year, but all of us have got to get used to constant change.

Something that is always made better with the wind in your sails and a team by your side.

I’m grateful that our team and our people have the character, resilience and technical ability to keep delivering, and I want to keep assisting that process.

As a leader, assisting the process takes all these skills, and the function of business planning is to provide a forum to develop them even more.

Have you done your own plan for the year? Have you challenged yourself to be better?

If so, all the best, if not yet, then take some time to look at the example of the US Navy SEALs and consider how far trust, character, work ethic and consideration can take you.

The journey is waiting and then …

be happy this March!