Welcome to … 2019!

In traditional new years’ style, we are dreaming of all we wish to accomplish with this fresh start – listing off each goal with bright eyes and an overwhelming sense of motivation. These goals tend to range from personal to professional, from mental to physical health, with tiny habit changes and baby steps in-between. In doing so, we begin to reflect on the year passed – but how effectively are we doing so? Are we combing through every goal we have set prior, checking off boxes? What about the objectives that fell short – what went wrong?

So what is the best way to manage the never ending list of questions and doubts, assessing the past and preparing for the future, especially when it comes to the workplace? Strategic planning – which can be defined as “an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment” (“Basics of Strategic Planning, Strategic Management and Strategy Execution,” n.d.). This can be as simple as getting your team together, having an open discussion about priorities and diarizing each point.

When setting new goals and beginning the strategic planning process, it is important to first understand why the goal needs to be a priority. Consider the following:

  • What positive impact will this have if accomplished?
  • What consequences will there be if unaccomplished?
  • Is this realistic?

After the why has been established, it is time to tackle the how:

  • What resources are necessary to accomplish this?
  • When does this need to be accomplished by?
  • Who needs to be involved to accomplish this?

One solution to ensure objectives are being met is holding yourself and those involved accountable – tracking progress and holding regular check-in meetings is a great way to follow-up on any developments, good or bad. So lean in, engage in the discussion and own your accountabilities – watch 2019 be your most productive year yet!



The Basics of Strategic Planning, Strategic Management and Strategy Execution. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.balancedscorecard.org/BSC-Basics/Strategic-Planning-Basics



About Vanessa Salopek

Vanessa is one of our Business Associate with over 15+ years of small business operational and management experience. Over the years Vanessa has had vast hands-on experience with start-ups, small-medium size business and franchises. She has proudly started, owned, and operated several businesses, including Canadian franchises and a award-winning Restaurant in Calgary Alberta. She is an advocate for entrepreneurs and small business owners and understands the unique needs and circumstance of businesses in various industries. Vanessa is also a proud to sit on the Board of Director for AARCS, and understands the importance of aligning Board strategy with daily operations of the organization. Vanessa is a CPHR candidate with a Business degree from the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. She combines years of industry experience with a strong broad and practical skillset that helps organizations look at their people strategy as a full entity of their business to help them grow and develop.

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