The game-changing plan for 2018 you'll probably forget to make - Xquadrant

The game-changing plan for 2018 you’ll probably forget to make

You’re making plans for 2018: setting goals and prioritising initiatives. But what’s your plan to grow your most important assets?

As you know, most organisations are focused on the cash-generating machine of their business: offerings and customers. However, only a few pay proper attention to the two fundamental inputs that drive the business:

  1. their people, and
  2. giving these people sufficient clarity on the goals and game-plan of the team that each person can truly play their position in the most effective way

I described this phenomenon in a previous article.

At GiANT Worldwide, we call this ‘accidental leadership’, because it’s the easy path and the default setting for us all. The problem is that when we treat people like liabilities, they start to become liabilities! When we fail to attend enough to these two areas of people and clarity, we see various problems creeping into the organisation, from lack of trust to poor performance. See this article for 10 typical warning signs you’re underinvesting in your team.

The harder path is to be an intentional and consistent leader, who treats people like assets so that they start to become assets. This is the leader that people actually want to follow and for whom they want to bring their best.

So here’s the challenge: do you want to be an intentional leader in 2018?

If so, you need a plan to get your team to the next level. We call this a People Plan and it’s a game-changer because it forces you to strategically address the true issues that are limiting your personal and corporate performance. Not the market, not other stakeholders, but your own influence and your organisation’s alignment, motivation and skill set.

Build your plan around 3 areas

At GiANT we recommend building your People Plan around three distinct areas, which I discuss below.

In customer work, we typically use a variety of tools to generate insights on these three areas, but for the sake of brevity here I’ll just suggest three simple questions for each area to get you thinking.


You – the leader. You set the culture and the tone for the entire organisation, and your growth will impact the whole team. Where is the personal growth for you in 2018?

  1. How energised and excited are you right now (0-100%)?
  2. What do you want in your role?
  3. What personal tendency or skill gap is keeping you from getting there?


Your direct reports. These are the people you have the most influence over, and represent a key opportunity for you to drive performance.

  1. How healthy is your team right now? (1-10) You can take this 100-second assessment to get a more objective assessment.
  2. Which is the #1 limiting factor in your team performance? – Communication – we don’t all get to bring our best – Alignment – we’re unclear about how we will win together – Relationships – we don’t truly trust each other – Capacity – we’re maxed out and haven’t built sufficient scaling mechanisms – Execution – we’re not sufficiently disciplined in hitting our goals
  3. What is the #1 thing undermining the impact of each individual on the team?


Your indirect reports. What is actually going on at the sub-team level and what is the strategic move you need to shape the overall culture?

  1. Who are the star teams and the struggling teams?
  2. What sub-cultures are the sub-leaders developing in their teams?
  3. If you could change 3 things in the organization, what would they be?

Putting it together

Assessing the current situation is only half the exercise of course. The other half is building a plan that is simple and that you can actually follow through on.

At GiANT we recommend mapping out the existing planned development initiatives for different levels in your organisation onto a calendar. This gives you a chance to see the big picture – are the current plans sufficient to address the challenges and opportunities you’ve identified?

It’s also a good idea to have a reasonable menu of strategies at hand, so that you have a variety of techniques (involving different levels of time, money and attention) that you can choose from according to the business needs. If the only weapon is your arsenal is 1:1 meetings, or sending people on a training course, the risk is that “to the person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”! So a flexible and diverse approach is important.

Two resources to make it happen

If you would like a simple template to help you go through this process, shoot me a message and I’ll send you a free planning template that we’ve put together at GiANT.

I’m also offering a limited number of leaders the opportunity to spend an hour with me and work on your People Plan together. No fee or commitment required, though you do need to apply. Find out more here.

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Richard Medcalf

Richard Medcalf is Founder & CEO of xquadrant. Having held senior positions in both the professional services and hi-tech sector, he's committed himself to improving the quality of leadership and organisational performance around the world. The way to his heart is through curry.