2020 is a different kind of year, and that takes a different kind of planning.
In the past ten years, I have had a lot of simultaneous priorities. Getting derailed and having to switch gears drastically seems to be my only constant. Back in March, I felt almost prepared for that massive upheaval we all went through.
As we look ahead to the end of 2020 or begin planning 2021â€™s strategy, it is hard to set targets and goals, because we donâ€™t know where we are going to be. Will children be in school? Will we go back to a lock-down? Will things start to open up? What about the economy? With so many unknowns, what does planning look like?
Start with a list of goals, just like you normally would. For some, this begins with a SWOT analysis, post-it notes and word association exercises. Whatever it is, do what you normally do to begin planning.
The difference is, this time write out 2-4 contingencies. Write a plan for everything being as usual, write a second plan for everything being in lock-down, and write a third and possibly fourth plan with life being somewhere in the middle.
This will work nicely on a large piece of paper or board where you can write the plan out in a linear model. As you discuss changing circumstances, draw lines to show how youâ€™d switch things up on the spot. Also, make a list of priorities so if we do go onto another lock-down and you are not working at full steam, priorities and focus will already be decided upon. No need to start getting buy-in and losing direction or momentum.
Essentially, make the tough decisions in advance.