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Kick off the new year right

Ahh, the end-of-year fog. That strange liminal space where our sense of drive ping-pongs between “let’s wrap this up before 2024!” and “ugh, can’t it wait until next year?” It’s such an easy time to get stuck, even if you’ve already done the smart, necessary work of holding a retropective on the year we’re wrapping up.

Well, fret not, because no matter where your team is in the year-end shuffle, I’ve got a roundup of resources to help you alchemize ideas into action, align on the right destination, or find clarity in team chaos

That’s right - it’s time to choose your own adventure!

Simply read the team profiles below, choose that which most closely mirrors your own (even if you’re a team of one!), and we'll direct you to the right tool for your current needs.

A team leader chooses a path through two cliffs. This is an analogy for the team leader who must chart the strategic course throughout the year.

Option A: You have ideas, but you need action.

You and your team have the best ideas! You’ve loved your brainstorming sessions, you know what inspires you, you’re excited about your company’s goals, and you feel ready to thrive in your culture or environment.

Everything you want to accomplish in the next year looks, sounds, and feels awesome, but when it comes down to where to start, you get stuck. There’s a block somewhere between ideas and action, and you need help.

Enter: A quarterly planning session!

You and your team know you want to contribute in big bold beautiful ways this year, but you’re unclear where to get started. This quarterly planning process guide from SessionLab will walk you through some common blockers to moving from ideas to action, including unclear prioritization, goal overload, and lacking clarity on who’s contributing to what.

You and your team can revisit by reflecting each quarter, re-orienting your goals towards company-wide annual plans and goals, to ensure you don’t get stalled out or overwhelmed.

Option B: You have energy, but you need somewhere specific to direct it.

You and/or your team are never not movin’ and shakin’. Driven, motivated, and ready to achieve and produce, you’re a bunch that favors charging ahead rather than slowing down.

If tasked to (metaphorically) run a 100-meter sprint at 100 miles per hour, you’d be pushing off the blocks before I could say “ready, set, go!” Thing is, you have no way of knowing if you’re all running in the right - or even the same - direction. 

Enter: A team or company vision!

If you’ve been here since September, you already know how much I value a clear, inspiring company vision to help orient teams towards the same north star. Luckily, my good friend Lois Weinblatt of True North Visionaries created a visioning process so effective and compelling that I use it in every organization I’m in.

Last fall, Lois generously built out a DIY vision exercise exclusively for my Want To Work There podcast listeners, and I can’t sing its praises loudly enough. Want to ensure your entire team (or company) knows exactly what you’re building towards in 2024? This is the exercise for you. 

Option C: You have amazing ICs, but you need better collaboration.

Most days, your team feels more like a rag-tag collection of talented individuals than, well, a team. Maybe you’re new to working together, or you’ve moved from remote to hybrid work and are re-navigating how to best collaborate.

Whether it’s clashing personalities or work styles, a lack of process or communication alignment, or a dearth of behavioral and cultural expectations, something is standing between your team of individuals and the synergy you know you could achieve if you had a bit more clarity on how to work together.

Enter: A Team Charter!

Aligning on, agreeing to, and committing to staying accountable to a strong code will help your team create the cultural “glue” it seems to need (or strengthen the bond it already has!). In the process of creating a Team Charter, you and your team can unpack precisely what kind of team you aspire to be, and how you best work (together) in service to the goals, mission, and values that drive you.

Once finalized, it’s something of an über-clarifier, serving as inspiration, a codex for team decision making, a clever accountability tool, even a helpful resource to share with other teams with whom you collaborate.

Commit to kicking off the new year on the best foot possible

Wherever you and your team land on the above options – whether there’s one that fits you like a glove or you feel like a mix of two or three – take just 15 minutes this week and look over the corresponding suggested resources. 

Maybe it’s just the ticket or maybe it just gets your wheels turning. In either case, we think you’ll find something that helps you and your team round the corner and head into 2024 with action, direction, and clarity. And that sounds like a Happy New Year to me.

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