Some of the most successful – and memorable – businesses are built on big ideas. Powerful ideas can create powerful results when they’re successfully implemented.
However, turning an abstract vision into reality can be a challenge for even the most dedicated executive. One of the easiest ways to create focus and execute effectively is to live in a 90-day world. By concentrating your attention into three-month periods, both you and your team can take the necessary small steps that add up to big results. You’ll also turn a potentially overwhelming, abstract concept into a much more manageable, concrete plan.
That’s not to say that you should abandon your yearly planning process or even your five- and 10-year plans. Both short- and long-term planning are crucial for directing your company’s future – and achieving your ultimate vision. However, in order to meet those long-term goals, you need to start executing in the short term, and that’s what a 90-day world is all about.
Here’s how working in a 90-day world might look in your business:
1. With your big idea locked down, gather your executive team for a yearly planning meeting. Where do you want the business to be in 12 months? Decide what you need to accomplish in the next year – and get specific with your ideas.
As you plan for the year ahead, consider how this coming year fits into the long-range vision for your company. Make sure your plans for the next 12 months set the stage for your long-term success while meeting your short-term goals.
Additionally, because this will be your main high-level meeting for the year, take time during this meeting to flesh out all the details.
2. Next, you’ll narrow the scope of your planning during a series of four quarterly meetings throughout the year. In each meeting, you’ll look out at the next 90 days, no more and no less. You and your team should make a list of three to seven big priorities that need to get accomplished in the next 90 days in order to achieve the yearly plan you’ve decided on. We call these priorities “rocks.”
Put dates on each of these rocks and choose one person to own each. That person will be responsible for keeping that rock on track and reporting to you on both progress and challenges over the 90-day period.
3. Once you’ve established your rocks and their ownership, you and your team will build out the tasks necessary to accomplish these rocks. Put dates on these, too, to offer them the best chance of getting accomplished on time.