This is my first Blog of the new year and the new decade so I want to make sure you and your RTO are starting out on the right foot.
And in order to do that, we all have to stop, reflect and make some critical decisions about what we will and won't do in 2020.
Otherwise, there's a strong possibility we will just focus on the tasks at hand and continue with the same (and possibly bad) habits from last year which will likely lead to similar results – some of which we want and some we probably don't.
So this week's blog and next week's will help you reset and refocus your RTO so you have an even better 2020.
FOCUS: Grow Your Business
Most RTO CEOs/Managers/Owners used Christmas as a countdown to get everything done before the office shut. But realistically, they knew they couldn't get EVERYTHING done because it's a never-ending To Do List, isn't it?
And here's what just focusing on the extensive To Do List before Christmas really meant:
• Running yourself into the ground until probably Christmas Eve. Then you had to turn a tired looking body into Happiness and Fun to celebrate Christmas Day with your family and friends.
• Snapping at staff when they didn't meet deadlines which added to the pressure.
• Snapping at clients, students or customers when they asked for the impossible to be 'done before Christmas'. This meant you're were thinking 'Why does lack of planning on your part create an emergency for me?'.
• Ultimately falling out of love with your RTO which isn't good.
And now you've come back to work and I wonder if you're like most people who've plunged themselves straight into catchup mode and firefighter mode rather than strategic and business mode?
And if this is you, you're concentrating on completing multiple tasks at once and being 'busy' that you're not able to focus on what's truly important which leads to frustration, confusion and overwhelm.
And it's only the second work week of January! So if this keeps up, it's going to be a very long and exhausting year. And haven't you had enough of them?
What if instead, you stopped to determine what you don't want to bring from last year into this one? By doing this, you'll start and end 2020 with clarity, results and fun rather than you and your staff feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and rundown.
So please take a few moments to write down what happened last year including wins and lessons learnt. This will help you determine what worked, what didn't and what you would do differently with the benefit of hindsight.
With this list in mind, here's three simple strategies to help you reset your RTO so you start 2020 with a Bang!
Three Simple Strategies to Reset your RTO
1. Determine the NEW Boundaries and Expectations
In my experience, most people running RTOs are wonderful people who are too nice to their staff. As a result, they let things go or don't address things when they happen. Why? Because they don't like dealing with conflict and they hope, by ignoring issues, they'll go away. But they don't.
So which behaviours, attitudes and frustrations (that you've inadvertently turned a blind eye to), don't you want appearing this year? These often include punctuality, not meeting deadlines, keeping the kitchen clean, not following procedures, disrespecting colleagues etc.
Write these down and then have a staff meeting to:
• Own your part in not addressing these things sooner
• Outline the behaviours and expectations which need to stop and the new habits to start building
• Share the help you'll provide to make this happen eg training, support, documented systems
• Outline the consequences for not embracing the new boundaries and expectations
• Provide staff with a written summary of what's expected.
When clients engage me to reset their RTO and teams, I provide staff with laminated copies of visual 'start and stop' reminders. This simple system shows you're committed to changes. It also addresses the 'I forgot' excuse.
By sharing the old and new boundaries and expectations NOW with your staff, it provides them with the clarity (and the reminders) they need so they don't fall back into old habits. It will also quickly show you who's really on your RTO Team Train and who isn't.
2. Write Your 'Not Negotiable 2020' To Do List
Some of you, like me, possibly had a 'Not Negotiable Before Christmas' To Do List which helped you get to the finish line of 2019 with hopefully some sanity.
Now is the time to review that list as well as what you've developed for 2020 to see what's realistically possible.
This list should only be the tasks which MUST be done, based on the current capacity and capability of you and your team because we don't want to set anyone up to fail.
Remember, these are targeted, realistic and mission critical tasks which cannot (or you don't want to) be completed any later the end of December 2020. These not-negotiable tasks then become everyone's focus for the year.
This list should also include BONUS Tasks which can be completed if you have a great run.
You'll be amazed at what's achieved with a smaller focused list simply because you've given people permission to park what can actually wait or isn't really a priority.
3. Write Your 1 Page 2020 Business Intent
It's time to plan tomorrow TODAY so if it's done already done, start writing your 2020 Annual Business Intent NOW.
The one page template I develop with my clients is called a Business Intent and not a Business Plan. The reason is because we can Plan to do anything but often don't achieve it. However, if we change the language to Intent, it shifts us cognitively and increases the likelihood of achievement.
In addition, by having everything succinctly on one page; it provides clarity, focus and simplicity which owners, management and staff can embrace.