Goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021
I’m a firm believer in planning and starting out new projects or years with the end in mind. At this time of year, people are usually thinking more about this year or the next. Finishing off the previous year’s accounts and reports all combined with the festive season. A review and analysis of the year is useful, and a good use of that review is realising what was stressful about this period and ensuring, where possible, that you don’t repeat any problems.
To quote Paul Grey (CEO of the Quiet Company) during his presentation at the Q&B annual conference earlier this year, “Did anyone have a ‘global pandemic’ on their risk register??” This year has been full of problems and challenges, but also some new inspiration and learning.
How to review
Looking back at 2020 (or earlier) what do you know you don’t want to do? Where did things go wrong, or what mistakes were avoided? Have you written down any lessons learned? Where necessary, have you amended or created policies to help prevent a repeat?
A good place to start is to read through last year’s agendas and minutes (useful for creating an annual report or introduction for new members, if you haven’t already). Grab a drink and make notes as you go along, keeping an eye out for patterns and gaps. That data will help with your planning for 2021 and beyond, or point out some gaps.
This is also the time of year that new committee members arrive. Do you have a procedure for that arrival, is there an onboarding pack, or do you just presume they will learn everything through osmosis? Remember, you don’t want to overload them – immediately handing over the Operations Manual may be a bit much! However, you want to give them an idea of what they’ll be tackling over the next year. A summary document, or a copy of an agenda calendar mentioned below, will surely be gratefully received.
Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is management jargon first created in the 1970s that refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders.
It’s also worth the committee taking some time to consider where they’d like to be in January 2022. Are there projects you want to be ready to start? Or ones you hope to finish? Possible entries for your list include deciding to create or improve corporate memory documentation, doing a data audit, arranging a building tour, or sending members to a conference or training course.
On the MBS resources tab are two spreadsheets, one for AM clerks and one for Premises committees; both have the same remit. By calendarising regular tasks and agenda items, you not only ensure they don’t fall by the wayside but also free up memory – you no longer need to worry or think about these items, as you know they are safely recorded. It is a simple form of corporate memory, and a useful piece of evidence of good governance and maintenance if things go wrong.
- Do you have a plan for this year?
- What would ‘successful’ look like?
- What simple thing can you decide to do (or not do!) this month that helps set you up for a successful year ahead?