With baby boomers entering their last stages, Private Equity invested in senior residences ahead of the certain increase in demand as an aging population would surely seek community, comfort, support, and safety from communal living. COVID-19 changed the calculus overnight. WeWork and Airbnb represent two more niches that are forever changed…as are many more.
When it is time to start planning but the top team is maxed-out just keeping up with operations, outside help may be just the thing. But what kind of help is best to get? Continue reading Four Kinds of Help→
While it is important to have both a high-level top-down and a preliminary sense for a bottom-up view of the financial plan, the offsite is not mostly about the numbers … it is about strategy.
Specifically, what is working, what is not working, what is possible, what do we want to do, and what are we going to do. The objective is to set the context for the top down aspirational view of the future to iterate and come together with the bottom-up view during the detail planning.
The ELT briefs the board in the fall meeting to share how the current year is turning out, status on key initiatives, and to proffer/review/tweak planning guidance for next year.
Then All Hands meeting communicates the where we were, where we are, and where we’re headed with the full backing and support of the SLT, broader leadership team, and the board. Note how it all cascades down from CEO to ELT to Broader Leadership Team to Board to Company as a Whole, building an ever broadening base of support for what the CEO carries as a vision and direction.
Then, the bottom-up planning begins in earnest with each unit of major responsibility preparing and reviewing with the CEO how they have done, what they are working on next, and how things will be going forward.
The sum of the unit plans needs to be greater than the plan because it is unreasonable to plan on absolutely everything going according to unit plans.
The CEO and ELT strive to construct a top-down plan that is rational relative to the bottom up plans. They iterate until the top-down and bottom-up plans are in sync and judged to be aggressive but achievable…for example Planned Revenue ~= Firm Revenue (i.e., Booked & Highly Probably) + 1/3 (Highly Qualified Pipeline).
The spring All Hands is to inform everyone how things are going and to engage the whole company in moving forward on the top one, two, or three Strategic Initiatives.
The spring ELT offsite is for the top team to bond, assess, refresh, and get a common sense for each other, how things are going, and where things are headed.
If the leader thinks s/he knows what needs to change and that everyone is aligned, ask: “How do you know your team knows what you want to do; why don’t we ask them just to verify? If they all say what you expect them to say, a positive step towards getting what you want done will have been taken just by bringing it to the center of their attention. If it turns out that some or all of the team are not as aligned as expected, then remedial steps can be taken.”
Survey the leader’s top team and ask them each:
To describe the current state, that is: how things are today.
What really good things happen if we change and what really bad things happen if we do not?
To describe how things would be in the future if their ideal changes were successfully implemented.
What needs to be done in order to get from where things are today to where things would ideally be next?
What will make it hard to do what needs to be done in order to get from today to the targeted next state?
Many organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative. The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.