Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

Is this missing from your life?

John Lennon once sang ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans’. In this case I’m going to have to disagree with him because I love making plans!

Fraser and I have spent hours and hours planning what we’re going to with each room we’re renovating in our old French house, not to mention plans for the barn and garden. We also have long planning session about Elephant. And travel. And other business ideas. And writing…. You get the idea!

I know that many HR teams and managers have been super busy through the pandemic and a lot of our plans went out the window, so my two questions to you are these:

When was the last time you sat down with your team and had a planning session? About what you want to achieve in the next 3 months, 6 months or the next year?

When was the last time you sat down with your partner or family and planned something fun? Whether it’s just a movie night, a short get away, changing the rooms in your house around (guest room becomes one of the kids rooms?) or anything that would give you a buzz?

Sitting down and planning something can be fun and productive. It looks to the future, it gives us something to focus on and sets out something we want to achieve. If it’s been awhile, then perhaps it’s time to put some time aside and do some group planning.

And there’s some great ideas out there for making your planning session more interesting:

  • Getting food involved is always good, whether you plan around a morning tea, or have lunch afterwards (we had a fantastic team dinner after an Elephant planning session once. What a pity the restaurant was a client and we ended up having to help the business dismiss the chef a few months later).
  • Do a walking discussion. It’s been shown that we can be more open and creative when walking rather than sitting in a room. So why not do a team walk, or a brainstorm outside and sit in the sun and discuss your plan?
  • Go somewhere different to plan. There are lots of hidden training venues around. I once went to a workshop in a training room hidden deep in the Eden Gardens (by Mt Eden in Auckland). It really felt like you’d left the city completely. There’s even a café to have lunch.
  • Do a dress up theme or maybe even get dressed in formal work clothes (remember those??)
  • Try out some new technology. There are lots of online planning tools like canva, that you could experiment with. Ask someone in your team to get familiar with it first so they can lead the session.
  • Or try out some new techniques to develop your plan. As part of some of our Certificate programmes at Elephant we cover Design Thinking and CX-EX Journey Mapping. Why not watch some videos or do some research on these (or buy one of our webinars!) and try it out. You learn a new method at the same time.

I don’t think life is what happens when you’re making other plans. I think planning is a great part of life and finally it might be time we can look forwards again. If you have any suggestions on venues, tools and techniques for planning – please feel free to comment below.

Also there’s still time to complete our HR Survey about what’s been happening over the last year. Please do click here if you’ve got a minute to fill this in.

Angela Atkins is the co-founder of Elephant Group who now operate in NZ, Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She is the author of the Bites series of books and is about to launch Management Bites Global edition. She now lives in the south west of France.


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This entry was posted on March 16, 2021 by in human resources, people management and tagged .
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