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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Sullivan

2020 - Time to regroup

January can be a struggle for many people.

The nights are long, the sunlight is fleeting and there’s always too much month left at the end of the money at this time of year.

But it doesn’t have to be a gloomy time. January is a time to re-group. Get back on track, start the year with a bounce.

What does January mean to your organisation?

For many charities, January marks the beginning of the end. But don’t worry, that’s not nearly as pessimistic as it sounds! It’s time to start preparing for the end of year accounts in March and many funding cycles start to draw to a close at this time of year too.

For other charities or organisations, such as students’ unions, January is the mid-way point of the year. They start gearing up for Spring elections but they’re only half way through the budgeting processes.

Whichever camp your organisation falls into, January is always an excellent time to sit back and review how things are going, how they’ve gone so far and re-group for the next phase.

The re-grouping process

The first step in the process is to take a good long look at your overall organisational objectives. How are they coming along? Are they on track or do they need additional resources to ensure you meet the end goals? If they aren’t going to plan, do you need to rip them up and start again – yes, it’s an option, even at this stage. I’ll explain more about that later.

If you have a goal that’s been reached, now is the time to run a thorough evaluation on it. Ask the people who were involved in achieving it (both staff and beneficiaries), how it went. What would they like to see happen again and, perhaps more importantly, what they would do differently next time. Check the objective against time, budget, impact and satisfaction metrics. If it comes up short, what could be done differently next time to ensure a more satisfactory outcome?

Even if your goals are only part way through, now is still the perfect time to evaluate them.

Are you on the right tracks? Are you where you’d hoped you’d be with them? Are there any potential problems that might get in the way of successful completion? Think about what you could do, right now, to ensure you get to where you need to be and achieve a great evaluation at the end of the objective.

Does your goal need more resource in order to succeed? Whether that’s time, people, money, equipment, space – is it worth investing more to achieve success? If the answer to that question is yes, what are you waiting for?

If the answer is no, scratch the objective and throw more support at the objectives that are worth investing in. Knowing you are flogging the proverbial incapacitated farm animal can be demoralising for everyone involved. So, if it isn’t going to happen, take responsibility, scrap the objective and move on to the next thing.

Regroup your people

The chances are, most of your team will have had some level of absence around December and into January – from planned holidays around Christmas or sick leave due to the ever-present winter bugs that are so prevalent at this time of year. Gather everyone together in the new year to renew their connections with your objectives and refresh a shared understanding of working relationships. This process can work as a great reminder about why people do what they do. You never know, new ideas may even spring from the early year conversations about objectives and re-grouping.

Finally, take this opportunity to map out the rest of the year. Whether that’s three months, six months or longer, having a plan of what you’re hoping to achieve can bring a renewed sense of purpose to staff members. Celebrate what 2019 brought, decide whether last year’s planning is still fit for purpose and get going into a new year.

Ready? Let’s show 2020 what we’ve got in store.

With all the very best of luck from the MiraGold team.

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