The last 3 weeks in December, we are going to be focusing on planning for 2021. Check back next Wednesday the 23rd for the next installment!



One of the most crucial things that you can do is plan. Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Franklin. And after the year that we’ve all had, planning for 2021 feels like a breath of fresh air. This is not to say that all of our problems are going to *poof* disappear on January 1, but embracing life as it is right now, and building goals to fit it, can feel like a relief.

Quarterly, we invite our client community together to take one whole day to work ON their business, not IN their business. This day of planning can empower the team to have the right focus. Click here to register for the next planning session – we promise it will be worth it!

One of the tips that we love, and a lot of our clients use, is picking a theme. Here’s 3 tips on how to do that.

Include Everyone

Pick a theme that speaks to every single department, job function, and individual. If the entire team is not looking to the same theme, or the theme just belongs to the C-Suite, then it won’t have the employee buy-in that it needs. Here’s some example themes that our client The Cleary Company has used in the past few years (used with their permission):

  • Digging In, Leveling Out, and Finish Strong: Rather than just having the goals focused on “driving sales” or “increasing profits”, this theme shows how that is going to happen.
  • Go For It: Here we go! This theme of rapid growth empowered the team to do whatever it took to grow the business (it worked!).
  • Burn the Ships: In reference to a song by For King & Country, they took this line of the song as their anthem for the year. “So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships and don’t you look back.” 2019’s theme was a rebirth.

Communicate the Theme

A theme that is stuck on a legal pad in the Owner’s desk, or even in the Owner’s head, will not do any good to drive the organization.  Even before the year starts (now), start communicating the theme to the entire employee population so they can look forward to what is coming. On the first day of the year, have a celebration! Get the team excited about what is to come. Put the theme in writing on e-mail communication, in employee meetings, and even hang it on the wall like The Cleary Company does. Be sure that at any given moment, the team can tell you what the theme is and what their part of accomplishing those goals is.

Fit Goals to a Theme

There are many reasons for this, but the #1 is that they are easy to remember. If the team questions if an action is “right” or consistent with the goals of the team, then they can look toward the theme, and can be empowered to make a decision. Are they thinking of resurrecting a failed marketing campaign from the past? If the theme is “Burn the Ships” and the goal is to not look back, then that would be an automatic no.

Organizing your 2021 Goals to fit a Theme can be an easy way to gain focus in your entire organization. Join us March 5 for our Growth Club Planning Session to get assistance from our amazing coaches, network with an inspiring group of business owners, and more.

Do you need help planning your business for 2021? Are you struggling with adjusting to the post-COVID normal? We can help. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation business evaluation today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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