How many times have you heard “I can’t believe it is December already!” from colleagues or family lately?
The end of the calendar year provokes responses ranging from shock at the speed of time passing, through to satisfaction at the achievements of the year, to mild panic as people look to their plans for 2014 and realise what is missing.
For communicators, December is a time to be able to reflect on the achievements of the waning year, while setting up for success in 2015.
Capture knowledge from the year
- Take time to capture the lessons, issues and achievements of the year. If you already have a reporting process, pull out the highlights.
- If communication projects didn’t have a formal post-implementation review, take time to capture successes and the areas that needed improvement.
- Consider an annual ‘communication report’ to key stakeholders.
- Consider whether to seek recognition for quality work. The IABC Gold Quills are open for entries until 7 January.*
Plan for the year ahead
- Understand the priorities for the businesses, teams and clients you support for 2015.
- If they do not have clear plans yet, use the opportunity to schedule communication planning sessions with your key stakeholders.
- Determine how to address any gaps or improvements from past communication projects.
- Take time to assess your capabilities based on what was achieved and what will happen in the year ahead.
- Plan development options such as participating in professional associations, seeking coaching or undertaking skills training to fill any gaps.
Keeping plans simple
The pace of change in organisations requires us to be adaptive. Plans change, often. Focus on tools and processes that enable flexibility, that are simple to use. Using a common approach across your organisation builds skill and consistency. The Shorter COMMS Plan is a simple methodology to support better outcomes from all types of communication; whether small projects, business planning or team management. A new one-day workshop designed to help apply the Shorter COMMS Plan is being held in Sydney on 4 February.
* Disclosure: I am Co-Chair of the Gold Quill Blue Ribbon Panel for Asia Pacific.