E3 Webinar: Finish Strong With A Winning Q4 Transcription
All right. I see some more people logging in. It’s 9:00, so I’m going to get started. Thank you for showing up this morning. Mike Rosenbaum from track and field states that the 4×100 relay race is as much a skill event as a speed event, and a team with 4 decent sprinters can outrace a team with 4 better sprinters by beating them in the exchange zone. The key is how much time is the baton spending in those exchange zones. I want to be the first one to welcome you to Q4. It is officially October 1st. I’m Marc Koehler. I’m the president of Lead With Purpose. Again, I’m really excited to be here to share with you the top 3 actions you can take to optimize your company’s transition, create a winning Q4 plan, and finish 2015 strong.
From the attendees I see, I notice that we have some people who have been using Lead With Purpose many years. Some have been using it less than a year, and others are tuning in for the first time. I want to welcome you all. This is a first in a series of monthly leadership webinars we’ll be hosting to discuss one of the street-proven leadership best practices that you can use to get everyone on the same page, really passionate about what they’re doing and focused on what matters most. We’re calling it the E3 learning series.
What is the Biggest Challenge You Will Face?
With 1 quarter left, what I want you to do is type in the chat, with 1 quarter left, what’s the biggest challenge you will face that will affect your Q4? I want you to type that in. Good. Profit margin, realistic goal setting, okay, maximizing time, revenue, closing opportunities, good, revenue shortfall, expansion, how to do it. That’s great. That’s great that you’re looking to expand. If we look at those, and I want you to write this down, if you can take out a piece [00:02:00] of paper, just write it down on a piece of paper. I want you to write that biggest challenge down. Then what I want you to do is draw an arrow to the right of that. I want you to think about, you don’t have to put it in the chat, but I want you to think about what would be the impact to your business if you could overcome this challenge?
Just on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not very big and 10 being highly impactful, what would be the impact to the business if you could overcome this challenge in Q4? Just think about, what is the impact to the business if you could overcome this challenge? Then I’ll have you take and put 1 more arrow to the right of what you just wrote. This is where it comes down to today is, what is the biggest obstacle to overcoming this challenge, because that’s what we want to identify. Again, what is the biggest obstacle to overcoming this challenge that could have a major impact to your business? I’ll give you a little bit of time just to write that down on a piece of paper. Just put some scratches. You can go back afterwards and talk with your team about this.
Okay, good. As a basis, many of you have seen this slide before, but I want to go back to really what Lead With Purpose was founded upon. This African proverb, you’ve probably seen before. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Lead With Purpose is really built around engagement. This is not a solo effort anymore. It’s about getting everyone on board and rolling in the same direction. I’m not saying as a leader sometimes you don’t have to go out fast to identify opportunities and threats, but if we go fast all the time, we’re going to find ourselves alone. In today’s market that’s changing so rapidly, that could be disastrous.
The Key to Your Results
Lead With Purpose [00:04:00], we’re about helping you to get better results. We believe that the best results are not achieved with a command and control style organization where 1 person at the top is making all the decisions. The best results come when we as leaders are able to create strong teams where people are really engaged in their jobs. This next sentence is really important. You’ve heard me say this a lot is, this is the key to your results. It’s getting engaged employees. Again, everything we create, everything we discuss at Lead With Purpose, if you’re in on our conversations, it’s centered around helping leaders create engaged people. We found that over the long haul an engaged team wins every time, because what you do is you tap into a team of people who really care about their jobs and are excited to solve problems, manage change, and drive success. Best of all is that you can do this from a single page plan.
Let’s review really quickly the single page plan, because we’re going to be referencing it today. Again, I know some of you have been using it for 3 years and some of you are really new to it, so this might be a lot of information for those who are really new to it. On the page what you’re going to see is these are the 7 elements that we believe you need to properly engage people and run your company. In general, the items in red make up the longer term inspiring story and are used to engage people. The items in blue are shorter term tactical goals and are used to empower people. The engage and empower sections are tightly connected and aligned, and here’s how.
Say for example we have [Susie 00:05:39] who sits in finance. She has a quarterly goal. That quarterly goal is connected to one of the annual goals. That annual goal is connected to one of the long term goals. The long term goals are connected to supporting, reaching the 10 year blue sky vision. That blue sky vision supports [00:06:00] reaching your brand purpose, the reason you exist and the difference you make in the world. What we’ve intentionally done is given you the ability to engage Susie by showing her how the short term task or goal that she is working on is directly connected to making a difference in the world.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, all of the boxes that are down here in dark blue, these are the quarterly boxes. They all connect up this same exact way for everybody. Again, this is the key to engaging employees and helping you get better results. Let’s get back. We’re going to reference this here, but let’s get back to helping you finish 2015 strong. Again, we need to have a great transition between Q3 and Q4, so let’s focus on the top 3 things that you’re going to do. Let’s talk high level and then we’ll dig in a little bit deeper.
The Top 3 Things
The first thing we need to do is we need to be prepared. We need to do a transition meeting. The preparation step for the transition meeting is really important. Number 2 is we need to actually hold the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting. I’m going to go through what that agenda looks like today and some key tips you can use to make it really effective. Then finally, number 3, it doesn’t do us any good, just the 6 or 7 of us, to sit in a meeting and then not roll that out to the company. These are the 3 steps. We’re going to go through these in detail, preparation, the transition meeting, and then roll-out to the company.
Let’s talk about preparation. Now when we look at preparation, the first thing we need to do is we need to create a shared Q4 vision. With your team, create a shared vision of what it looks and feels like to be at the last day of 2015. Now I specifically said shared vision, not just your vision. Remember it’s about engagement. When we include people [00:08:00] in the shared vision and helping to create that, we engage them, so involving them in the process helps us to get buy-in. That’s a key piece.
How do we do that? You need to transform to December 31, 2015. If we think about when you look on the screen, you’re here at October 1. We need to time travel to the end of December. There’s a couple ways we can do that. The first way is if you want to go out and find Marty and Doc. We can do that thing, plug in December 31, 2015, but actually it’s a little easier than that. Let’s just take a look at an example of how we would do that.
If you take a look at all of your annual goals that were set at the beginning of the year and identify how far along you are to completing them, right? Are you 80% complete for this one? Are you 50% complete for this one? Let’s use this image to illustrate the concept of how you’re going to create your Q4 vision. On January 1 when we started the year, you’re at the bottom step and have zero revenue. Your annual goal is at the top of the stairs, and it’s set at $16 million to be completed on December 31, 2015. We’ve just planned throughout the year that we’re going to add $4 million in revenue every single quarter.
Throughout the year, you start managing and taking a look at what you actually bring in. In Q1, you have $3 million in revenue. In the middle of the year, you actually have $7 million year to date, so you’re a million behind. We just finished Q3, and you find out that your actual is at $10 million. Now again your goal of where you wanted to be was at $12 million. The issue is, are you going to be able to make this jump? Are you going to be able to say Q4, I’m going to be able to do $6 million in revenue? This is the evaluation you need to go through.
Now what I [00:10:00] would tell you is if you’ve never done $6 million in revenue in a quarter, it might be considered an unrealistic goal by your organization. You might want to revise it and take a look at it so they see it as being realistic. Now you might have a big contract that’s waiting or a proposal that’s going to come in and going to come through that’s going to bridge that gap, but this is just an example of what you would go through to analyze your annual goal for this. Now you can see what the gap is. What you do is with your team, you need to go through each one of the goals and do that.
What it does is it gives everyone a strong understanding of the status of the progress towards an annual goal and the viability of all the annual goals that you have. Once you’re able to do this, you’re able to take that gap, what you’re able to do is put it all together. This is your shared Q4 vision. This is the number 1 thing you can do. This is not you doing it alone. This is you doing it with your team. What it is is at the end of Q4, this is what it looks like. This is what it feels like. This is what we’re going to accomplish. Now if you don’t have very well-defined goals for the end of the year, this can take upwards of 45 minutes to 60 minutes to do this and update and define them. What we found is that Lead With Purpose users, it’s really easy. Really this is about a 5 or 10 minute stand-up meeting, because the plan is reviewed weekly and constantly updated so everyone knows the exact status of annual and quarterly goals. This can be viewed on the next [page 00:11:41].
In this box, you can see is the December 31 vision. These are the annual goals that were set December 31. That’s your vision that you currently have. Down here in these boxes with the quarterly boxes, this is what you just finished in September 30, [00:12:00] 2015. What’s really easy here is you can see down here, little bit hard to see, but way down here, right underneath here, it says there’s $12 million year to date in sales. Right here you’re currently at $10 million. You can see the status of the quarterly goal and then you can also see the status of the annual goal. Again, very easy for when you’re using Lead With Purpose to be able to do that and have this status. From this, you can create this gap. This right here, up here in the annual goals box, is actually your Q4 vision, what you’re looking at.
Now what leaders are to do, once you’ve done that with your leadership team, your leaders are supposed to go to their departments with that vision and with this update of where they currently are, understanding what the gap is, and then create a set of Q4 goals. I’m just going to stop right here. Are there any questions right now of the process of creating your Q4 vision with your team? If everything’s good, just type in yes. If you have any questions, please do that too. Good. Yes. Yes. Okay, good. Good.
Good question. [Julie 00:13:23] asks, “Do you change the annual goals at this point or after the review?” Your leadership team would slightly alter the goals before you go out to your departmental, because they’re going to want to know … As an example, the sales goal of $16 million might be too much, so you might drop that down to $15 million. Before the sales manager takes that off to their team, they’re going to want to know, “Hey, the gap is $5 million, not $6 million.” That’ll make a difference. Yeah, you slightly alter the vision with your team helping you to make that Q4 vision, and then you go out to the departments. [00:14:00]
Okay, great question, [Scott 00:14:03]. If you keep modifying revenue goals, how does staff keep faith in what you’re trying to achieve? I think what we have to understand as a goal is what we’re trying to achieve. I would not have these be modified very easily. You just can’t go in and say, “Hey, I’m only going to do $12 million in revenue.” What it has to be is it really has to be by the team, and the team holds each other accountable. People are going to know when you’re supposed to do $16 million in sales, and you’re only going to do 10. There’s a real problem there. Don’t adjust the goals very freely. Good question.
Okay. It sounds like everybody’s on board here. Let’s go to the next slide. Once you and the leadership team have this vision, what you’re going to do is they’re going to complete department team meetings. We’re going to go through this, these 3 steps that you do. It’s really fun for them to do. They’re going to evaluate the Q3 goals. I’m going to talk to you about what you’re going to be able to do. You either complete, you move, or delete. That’s 1 thing. Number 2 is they’re going to share stories of how they’ve lived the values, the brand purpose, and the vision, and celebrate their own success. Then what they’re going to do is set the Q4 SMART goals. Now these meetings are somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes long for each department.
Let’s talk about evaluate Q3. If I’m the sales department, the boxes that they’re going to focus on are the goals, the annual goals up top here. Then they’re also going to focus on their specific quarterly box down below here. That’s just for the sales and marketing team. Most goals are completed, some of them are moved to the next quarter, and some of them are deleted. I know this … Scott, you asked a really good question. You don’t delete goals [00:16:00] just because you’re not making it, but you do want to have the ability as a team to say, “Hey, 3 months ago, this was a really great idea that we had, and it’s just not relevant anymore.” That doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I find people saying, “Hey, I’m the one who committed to that goal, and what you have to understand is that things are changing so rapidly right now.”
There’s a balance between holding people accountable and going after goals that aren’t really relevant anymore. You have to have the ability to do that. It isn’t 1 person, the sales person, coming and saying, “Hey, I’m going to delete this goal.” It’s the sales person coming and saying, “Hey, look it, this is the goal we have. These are the challenge we’ve had. This is what we’re going to really get to, and this is how we’re working through trying to still achieve that goal.” That’s just an example for the sales department. It would be the same for the HR and finance. They would be focused on this top box here because that’s the vision for the entire company. Then what they would do is they would be just focused on their box right here.
If we go to the next slide, so that’s one. Number 2 is sharing stories. I’ll share with you some of the ideas and some of the things we’re seeing people do. It’s just really fabulous, the simple things you can do to help really engage people and recognize them. Here’s an example where you take a look at your brand purpose and your values, which are at the top of the page, and you also look at your blue sky vision. What you’re doing is you’re just sharing stories of how people have lived the brand purpose, lived the values, the blue sky vision. This is just a big, fun encouragement fest. “Hey, I remember the time when [Luis 00:17:38] went above and beyond, stayed later than needed to, so that we could get the customer their product.” This is just a really fun time for people to share those. Your department heads, what they should be doing is gathering this information, because they’re going to bring this back to the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting that you’re going to hold. [00:18:00]
Okay, then finally is setting Q4 goals. You can set a new goal in the software. If you don’t use the software, that’s okay. You can use a piece of paper, Excel spreadsheet, Word document. Someone asked, “Will we get a copy of these slides?” Yes, you will get a copy of these slides and the recording will be available too, so you can rewatch it. You can set a new goal in the software, Lead With Purpose. You can put in a detailed description. You can put in an action plan and then identify any potential obstacles. That’s the third piece, because what that team is going to do is they’re going to set the Q4 vision that the department leader is then going to come back to the leadership team, and in the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting, is going to present how their department did in Q3, going to share some stories, and then also identify the Q4 goals.
Good. This piece is really key. This is just a summary for the first step, for the preparation. Number 1, it’s create a shared vision of what the end of December looks like. If you’re standing on December 31, 2015, what does it look like? Everyone goes in, updates their goals. You gather the leadership team. Again, this can be 5 minutes long, can be 30, 60 minutes long. Then in that meeting, also set with the people the department and transition meeting expectations. Again, in red is the word shared, because we need to do this with our team so we keep them engaged and we get buy-in to this.
Now the second part of the preparation is departmental team meetings, so where the department heads I just went through go and meet with their team. They’re to evaluate Q3 goals, again completed, moved or deleted, share the best of Q3 stories, and then set SMART Q4 [00:20:00] goals. We recommend no more than 3 to 5. This is sometimes very hard for people, but I would tell you that typical transitions, it’s 3 to 5. In the last quarter, you might need to have 5, because you’re trying to get a lot done and meet the goal, but I would try to make it 3, 4 really strong ones. You have Thanksgiving coming up. You have Christmas coming up. Just be really aware of that.
Okay. The next slide is really a check-in with you. Why don’t we check in? Any questions right now on the first step? The first key step is preparation, what you see on the screen. If you can just type in if everything’s good, just type in yes. If you need some further clarification, just please type in your question. Good, [Jessica 00:20:57]. All right. Good to go, yes? Very good. Okay, so it makes a lot of sense.
Okay. Now what I want you to do, I’m just going to break here just for a second. From this first section which is so key, this preparation section, what’s your biggest takeaway from this? What’s your biggest takeaway? Just type it in the question. What’s your biggest takeaway from this section? Good. Love the African proverb. Yeah, it’s the baseline, [Becky 00:21:29], for us. Scott, really good. It’s good to punctuate each quarter with a transition. Right. That transition is an evaluation, but it’s also a celebration of all the effort that your team put together and then sets them a vision for what the next quarter looks like. Very, very important. Critical to build culture of accountability, yes. Yup, positive way to set the next quarter goals. Very good, Julie.
How Do You Know All Are Committed To Them?
Luis, “Sharing is a most important issue for me. However, how do you know [00:22:00] all are committed to them?” There’s key questions that I will ask. Now since you’ve given people the responsibility and empowered them to say, “Hey, look it, here’s where I want to be. Here’s where we decided as a team to be together,” before you leave that vision meeting with your leadership team, I always look around the table and I ask for a thumbs up. “Hey, we’ve just talked about a lot of stuff and we’ve slightly changed some things. Is everyone bought in to this? Because if there aren’t any questions, this is what we’re going to go forward with.”
This doesn’t happen overnight, but when you have a very open and transparent and can have really critical conversations with each other, it’s really important because once you leave that meeting, everybody leaves that meeting saying, “Hey, this is the vision that we’re going to try to do.” I always do a check-in. I recommend the department heads do a check-in also. Then when we get into the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting, I do check-ins after every single department [head 00:22:57] presents. I’ll go through that too.[Richard 00:23:00], “Yeah, so how about creating and incentivizing stretch goals to reach the original $16 million revenue?” Yes, if you have the right people, that’s exactly what you should do, Richard, is don’t just change the goal. You need to go, “How are we going to make that? That’s the gap. How are we going to get there?” The reason I bring up the $16 million goal and having that gap is what I find is that, if you have a leadership team that’s really strong and understands what the common shared vision is, there might be something else that’s on the table that the team has to take off the table and shift to Q1 of next year so that the entire team can be brought to bear on creating a system around stretch goals or about incentivizing people. That’s what it’s really for, what are the biggest issues and then evaluate what we can take off the table, because that’s what we’re looking to do too. Hey, good idea to check in with all. Okay.
It looks like [00:24:00] we’re at a good point right now. If we take a look at the key point, number 1 is preparation. For a winning Q4 roadmap, number 1 is preparation. Again, it’s called the shared vision. It’s called the department team meeting, because the team is involved, and preparation is key.
The next one we’re going to go to is the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting. Now what I would recommend is that you leave at least a week in between the time that you and your leadership team meet and set what the shared Q4 vision is. Leave at least a week in between to do the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting, because what that allows, it allows the department head to go out to their team, talk with them about what the shared Q4 vision is, have their department meeting, and then be ready for the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting. Now we’re seeing teams that are using Lead With Purpose and have made it a habit complete these transition meetings in 2 hours. We’re going to go through what that looks like.
The agenda is story telling. Every department leader is to come prepared with at least 3 stories of how people have lived the brand purpose, the values, the vision, or have gone above and beyond. Then each department leader is given 15 minutes, and they need to be prepared for this. They’re given 15 minutes to evaluate Q3 and share what the Q4 goals are. This is really a celebration of Q3 and setting the vision for Q4. It’s story telling for about 20 minutes. I’ve seen this shift to 30 minutes. If you have great stories coming out that it’s really helping to build your culture, it’s pretty tremendous. Just let it go.
Then what you do is you do a SWOT review. We recommend you take a look and do a SWOT analysis, see if anything’s changed. You can see I’ve only put 15 minutes on there, because you should be reviewing your SWOT every single month. Then review of the 2015 annual goals. We should already know where those really stand in about 15 minutes. Then it’s 15 minutes per person to do the Q3 review and Q4 goals.
Okay, great. Julie asked, [00:26:00] “When do you ideally start the review, last week of Q3?” Yes, I recommend that you do it the last week of Q3. Now some companies I know are really pushing to make month’s end revenue-wise or a quarter’s end, so just be cognizant of that. It’s not going to kill anyone if this happens in the first week of Q4. Good question. Yes, you’d ideally like to do it as soon as possible. Sometimes I see people doing it 6, 7 weeks later and they’re already halfway through the quarter. Again, as close as possible to the end of the quarter.
I’m talking a lot about stories. Some of you have seen these things, but there’s a real reason behind stories. Human beings are wired for story telling. Again, I’m an operations, engineering type of guy, and I never thought I’d be fairly decent at stories. Using what’s on the single page plan has been really helpful for me to become a better story teller. What you’re doing is you’re taking advantage of what human beings are wired for. When we hear the words once upon a time, our brain changes chemical composition and shift. When we hear once upon a time, we’re ready to accept a story. They’ve done studies, and they’ve shown that the brain on data … If you just present data, this is the logic part of your brain. When we are presented with data, only 2 areas of our brain fire. When we hear a story, 7 areas of our brain light up. A story is really the only way to activate the parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience. Again, really important. There’s evidence behind that we should tell stories.
Now there’s some really simple things that [00:28:00] we’ve done, and I’m going to share with you some of these examples. This is basically a caught in the act slip. This is a company that uses it. What they do is they’re able to recognize each other for living their brand purpose, their values, and their blue sky vision. You can create your own stories where the hero of the story is the employee, again living those values, brand purpose, or vision. Now what you do with those is you take and put them up on the wall. This was in a manufacturing facility. Their purpose, they craft inspiring spaces, and they put it in Spanish. On the side you can see the little caught in the act slips. They’re starting to build this story. We call this a [campfire 00:28:43].
One other example, more well-developed, is a company I work with in [Banning 00:28:48] called Pro-Line. This is what they have in their lunchroom. You can see that they have here, they have each one of their values. Around it are all the stories of people encouraging each other and living your purpose. Again, these are just really easy things. If you’re struggling to figure out what type of stories you should bring to the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting, we call this a campfire wall. Go to your campfire wall. These are very easy to create. If you’re interested, just send me an email at the end and I can help you with this. This is very powerful. 1 last one I’ll shared with you is this. This is a manufacturing company in Southern California. You can see they have all of their images for their brand purpose, values, and blue sky vision. Then you can see down here, you can see all of the different stories that are being told.
When we take a look at story telling, because this is the first piece of it, again each department head is to bring 3 examples of people living the values and being able to tell these stories. What I want you to do in the meeting is just keep track of them. It becomes really impressive. Here’s an example. Susan, who is the VP of engineering, might come to the meeting and say [00:30:00], “Hey, look it, I want to recognize Bill, who is one of my engineers. Here’s what he did. He delivered a project 2 weeks early, worked late on his own. What he did is he exhibited the value of striving for excellence.” That’s really powerful. Susan has 2 other ones that she talks about. Then you might have another one where Julie, who is the customer service manager, says, “Hey, Frank who works in my customer service department, just great feedback from our number 1 customer. He really listened to them.” What you’re doing is you’re using the value as part of the story with the hero being Frank.
Now here’s the real key, and this is a great tip, because you can get a lot more out of this. What I’d ask you to do is cross-engage. What you do is you take one of the people who was in the leadership meeting … Say it’s Lisa who is the VP of marketing, just heard that story. When she leaves the meeting, what she is to do is to take 1, 2, 3 minutes, just go up to Bill and say, “Hey, we just had our transition meeting. Susan talked about how you delivered a project 2 weeks early and worked late on your own. I really appreciate you striving for excellence.”
Bill and Frank and all these employees, they wonder when we go into these rooms what we’re talking about, because we’ve got the door closed. What this does is lets them know that when we’re in that meeting, “Hey, my name was actually brought up in that meeting.” This is really powerful. Don’t have Susan go back out to Bill and say this. Have Lisa or someone else. Likewise, just keep track of this. Scott, who’s the VP of operations, would go to Frank, the customer service rep, and say, “Hey, Julie talked about this.” This is just a great way to really keep employees engaged and really let them know that you’re discussing them.
Real quick, does this make sense? This really simple tool to use, if it makes sense, just say yes. If you have any questions on it, I’d like to make sure you understand this. Yes, yes, yes, [00:32:00] you guys are good. Okay, good. Use this. I love using this. You can use it throughout the entire year. The Q3 to Q4 transition just makes it really good.
Your SWOT Analysis
Next is review the SWOT, your SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can see I put 15 minutes in here. You’re not to go and spend 3 or 4 hours to go through this. Now you should be very aware of what’s going on with your strengths and weaknesses. A lot of things change a lot quicker in the outside to understand what the opportunities and threats are. Really what you’re looking at is you’re asking yourself these questions. Are these still relevant? Any changes we need to make in priority? As an example here, you might have a, “Processes have been our weakness for the last 2 quarters, but we’ve really been working on processes. Is that really the number 1 weakness that we have?”
You might be able to move that down to number 3. You might remove it from the list all together. This allows you to juggle and move things around. What’s nice is that, in Lead With Purpose, you’re able to move these things very quickly. Then for anything, are there any goals based upon this SWOT that we need to put in place? “Hey, for these old machines, is there a goal we need to put in place and find out how we can look at newer machines?” That’s the SWOT review.
Now the 2015 annual goals, you’ve already gone through once with the leadership team. What you’re doing is you’re just finding out if any of the department meetings uncovered anything different. You’re spending literally 15 minutes on this saying, “Hey, look it, at the end of the year, this is where we’re going to be.” Just spend 15 minutes. Review and revise and update any of the goals.
Then finally it’s the Q3 to Q4. Every department has given 15 minutes. They can use it how they want to. The first thing they’re to start off with is their Q3 accomplishments. As an example, for HR and finance, and this is taken directly from Lead With Purpose, and it’s on the 1 [00:34:00] page, basically all you do is present that. “Hey, we completed 2 goals. One’s still at [red 00:34:05], and those were our accomplishments.” You would talk a little bit more about those things that you did to create a visual map, and you did sexual harassment training, where your progress is with hiring 10 people.
Then what you do is you present what the Q4 goals are. This is from when you as a department leader were meeting with your team. In Q4, there’s open enrollment, they’re going to do a DISC assessment, and they’re going to talk about doing some training for effective meetings, and HR needs to be involved in hiring an engineer. That’s really how simple it is. Now in each one of these, what we’d ask you to do for the Q4 goals, we’d ask you to identify an action plan. We’d ask you to identify detailed steps and any potential obstacles that you might encounter.
If we go to the … We’ll go to the next slide. I’m just going to stop right here. Does this make sense, how you do this Q3 to Q4? I know there’s some on the line here who are sitting in. They’re just great users, and they fully understand this, could probably teach this. Okay, good. Great, yes. Yes, thanks. Perfect. Okay, good. Awesome.
Okay, one of the things that I really recommend in Q4 is I really recommend you stay at 3 goals per department. Today a lot is demanding of our time and attention, and we need to really help people make really good decisions on what matters most. When we give them a list of unmanageable goals, we give them 5, 6, 7, 8 goals, it’s just harder for them. We really need to sit down and make sure that in this meeting, that we’re identifying what the top 3 to 5 are and prioritize those in order of importance. Again, this is what’ll help people focus, and everyone knows the understanding of focusing.
Julie asks a question here. “Does Q4 goal discussion [00:36:00] go through obstacles and actions?” Yes, it does. What we see is a lot of companies have the software open. What they do is they’ll click on the … I’ll just go back here. What they’ll do, Julie, is they’ll just click on open enrollment. What it does is it exposes and opens up a section where you can put in all this additional information. They’ll talk about that. We talked about this. Okay, good. Step 1 to a winning Q4 roadmap which is preparation, and we just talked about the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting and the 4 steps for that. Any questions, any additional questions, you have right now for the second most important thing, which is the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting? If you don’t have any questions, just say no. No questions, good. All good. I’m good. Perfect. Okay, good.
We’re going to go through the third step here, which is rolling out the plan. This’ll be pretty quick. It’s really important that we roll out the plan. This is really fun. This takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. What your goal is, so your goal at the end of the meeting, it’ll be a really successful meeting if everyone understands how the quarterly goals that you have in Q4 connect to the brand purpose, because again, if we can show people how the quarterly goals connect to the brand purpose, it creates that engagement. As we know, engaged employees are a lot easier to lead. It’ll be really important. That’s your goal.
Now what we’ve seen, we’ve seen people do a lot of different things, but basically I would call an all-hands meeting. I would set it out about a week. You might want to bring in a little bit of food, or you might want to do a lunch afterwards. Basically what we recommend is that every leader of every department stands up and presents their department’s Q3 success and the Q4 goals. This isn’t a 15 minutes. This is 3 to 5 minutes for each person. This is just a highlight. [00:38:00] Here’s the things that we accomplished, and even share some caught in the act slips with them. Then you can say, “Hey, here’s where we need to get to in Q4.”
Now I do recommend that the leader kick off the meeting by talking about where the company is up to Q3, and what the vision looks like for the end of Q4. Again, this is not a 20, 30 minute conversation. This is literally 3 to 5 minutes. “Hey, here’s where we are. Here’s what we’ve accomplished.” What’s great about Lead With Purpose is you can go to the accomplishments section, and you can find out, “Hey, we decided that we wanted to do 52 goals. We’ve actually gotten 45 of them complete. That’s a huge success for us this year. Here’s what we really need you to focus on.” What you’re doing as a leader, you’re setting expectations and making sure that they understand how winning in Q4 is going to be really helpful, and this should really engage them.
Then what you do is you hang the new plan around the office monthly, and we have companies doing this, but monthly you should have it be a habit that you get together with the team. Literally it’s 10 or 15 minutes with the entire company. “Hey, 15 minute all-hands.” These are some of the things that I learned while I was in the submarine force in some of the meeting structure. It’s really important to bring the entire team together. “Here’s where we are. Here’s the progress we’ve made. Here’s where we still need to go.” Any questions on the roll-out of the Q4 plan? What questions does … Does anyone have any questions? If you’re okay, just say good. Good. You guys are good. Okay, now you’re getting the whole thing. That’s excellent. Good.
What’s the Top Things You Take Away from the Transition Meeting?
From this section, and I’ll put it on the screen here for you, what’s the top things you take away from the transition meeting and what’s the top thing you take away from the roll-out of the plan? Very good, [Jeff 00:39:52]. Team leader reports Q3 accomplishments, then explains Q4 goals. I can tell you that the companies [00:40:00] that are doing this and running their companies on a 90 day cycle, their annual transition to 2016 will take 4 hours. It will only take 4 hours. They’re so in tune with what their annual goals are and what their quarterly goals are, that it becomes less of, “Hey, we’re just going to re-plan for 2016.” It becomes more of, “Hey, we’re on this trajectory, and if we keep going, we want this to be our 2016 end of year goals.” What it is, it’s really just a longer transition from Q4 of 2015 to Q1 of 2016.
Okay. It is time, work investing to make sure it happens. Yup. Good, Becky. Need to do better about roll-out to the entire company. Yes. Need to recognize the wins the company has made. Yes. That’s why we run the … All the annual goals have quarterly goals. I always struggled as a leader when I just had an annual goal. I got 3 of the 4 things done, and I couldn’t check off the annual goal. What’s nice is that you can have the success of checking off the 3 quarterly goal that make up the annual goal, and you might shift the 1 fourth one to the next one. Building a collaborative environment, very good. [Cross-engagement 00:41:18], yeah, great practice. Then Scott says, “Important to align with leadership, then communicate to team to ensure engagement.” Exactly. Okay, good.
We’re going to wrap up here, and then I’m going to open up to some further Q&A. The entire blueprint for creating an engaged and empowered workforce is in our book, Leading With Purpose. It’s currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so you can take a look at it. The official launch, and I’m figuring this out … How is it available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon? The official launch is October 8. We’re going to hold it at Barnes & Noble in San Diego. That’s going to be an exciting event. You can get copies of the book. You can get copies of the book for your team. We have certified executive coaches. You can get copies of the book. [00:42:00] It’s going to make the meetings a lot better.
The other thing is we have coaching and 2016 planning workshops coming up, Friday, November 20, Friday, December 4 and 11, Thursday, December 17, Friday, January 8, 5, and 22. If you’re interested in any of these dates, just send me an email, and I’ll get you the logistics and locations. These are basically half-day sessions. They’re for companies who have used Lead With Purpose for 3 or 4 years, and they’re for companies who have never used it. It’s going to be for both.
We’re going to wrap up. If we were to sum everything up, what’s the 1 thing you’re going to do? What’s the 1 action you’re going to take, because you’ve invested the time today to sit in on the webinar, interested in creating a strong Q4 to finish strong in 2015? What’s the 1 action item you’re going to do so that you can make that happen? Again, what’s the 1 action item you’re going to take away from this so you can create a winning Q4 and finish 2015 strong?
Good, Luis. Need to work on a program to better implement our goals. Good, Becky. Set transition meeting with the board. Yes. Set up transition meeting, good, with leadership. Schedule strategy meeting with the VPs. Transition meeting. I’m going [after 00:43:17] my plan and get prepared for transition. Hey, this is really encouraging for me because what I see people saying is I need to … I’m not saying people say, “I need to update the plan,” or, “I need to do the transition.” What you’re talking about is, “I need to get together with the team,” because again, if we want to go far, we have to go together. The way to go together is to get people involved. Good.
Finishing strong in 2015 and the key 3 things. Number 1 is shared vision. Team’s involved. Number 2 is the Q3 to Q4 transition meeting. I’ve given you the agenda. I’ve given you some tips to make it fun and exciting. Then number 3 is make sure you roll it out to the [00:44:00] entire company, so everybody’s involved. Good. That’s it for today. I’m just going to open it up right now if there’s any other questions. I’ll stay on the line for the next 15 minutes. If you have any questions that you want to send me emails on, if you’re interested in the workshops or the book, just send me an email. Next month, it’s always the first Thursday of every month, we’ll have our next E3 learning series. It’ll be on effective meetings.
Absolutely, Becky. You can get a copy of the slides. Sounds good, Luis. You’re welcome. Thanks for the encouraging words, Jessica. Sounds good, Jeff. I’ll give you a call. Oh, you’re welcome. Yes, Lisa, the slides will be available. Also, this is being recorded, so you’ll have access to that too if you want to look at it again or if you want to share that with your team or others. Yeah, sounds great, Scott. Work on setting up the plan. You have a copy of the book, so use that. Then once you get it set up, just shoot me an email. I’ll take a look at it, and give you some feedback on it.
Yeah, so that’s a really good question, [John 00:45:13], because again, there’s this really fine balance of being able to be flexible to what’s happening in an environment, but not allowing people to get away from being accountable for their goals. I would just tell you there’s no clear, hard, and fast rule. I apologize, [Lauren 00:45:35]. Yeah, so the question from John was, when you talk about deleting goals, share with me more about that, because I’ve always been told you just have to complete the goal and it’s not deleted.
One of the things I would tell you is that the team, the team really holds each other accountable. It’s going to be very hard when you have such a tight team and they’re really [00:46:00] based around a set of strong values, it’s really hard for someone to come to the team and say, “Hey, I’m just not going to make that goal.” The signs of that are, hey, throughout the quarter, when you’re talking about quarterly goals, throughout the quarter, you should be following the Lead With Purpose meeting template. On a weekly basis, you’re basically reviewing the plan. You’re updating the status, whether it’s on track, at risk, or whether it’s critical.
Now I tell you, if there’s 12 weeks in a quarter, and if you go through the first 10 weeks and the goal is on track, and then suddenly it changes from green to red, it changes to critical, there’s a real problem there, because very few goals, if they’re being properly managed and looked at, change from green to red. Now you might lose a contract, which makes a sales goal turn from green to yellow or to red, but if there was an issue, it should have changed to yellow first 6 weeks into the goal and then it should have changed to red. It’s just a really fine balance. I would tell you that it’s not very hard and it’s very easy to sniff out when someone’s trying to get out of being responsible or being held accountable.
Okay, good. Are there any other questions? Anyone else have any other questions? That’s great. If you’re still on the line and you’re still listening, go out and make it a great day. This is Marc Koehler. I’m going to sign off. Please email me or call me if you have any additional questions. Thanks, [Miguel 00:47:35]. You too, [Cindy 00:47:36], have a great day.