End of Financial Year Business Reflection & Strategically Retreating ideas #1

It’s the end of financial year, or the final month of the financial year 2021 for all of us in business.

To me, as a leader of a business that was an exciting time, because I knew that the work I’d put into our 2 days of strategically retreating/business review at the beginning of the financial year was going to be showing in the results by the end of the current month.

Strategically retreating gave us pause in order to show where my focus was or where my team’s focus had been.

It also let me sit with the emotions that the team were experiencing. That might well differ being it a tough year; a busy year; a successful or not so successful year. Also, review the performance and behaviours towards our upcoming year going to be equally successful.

Also, if there were spot fires that needed putting out… that needed to happen as soon as possible so as not to start on the wrong foot in the upcoming financial year.

Two-days of strategically retreating in June every year; then 1-day reviews quarterly; 2 hours monthly; 1 hour weekly was our rhythm of focus on the business’ strategy and outcomes and it worked.

We mapped our business on a one-page-strategic-plan adapted from Verne Harnish’s “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” model and the best I took from what I learnt at Business Mastery with Tony Robbins and the likes of Keith Cunningham, in Fiji.

To me, leadership and team work is better with transparency, so that meant no ‘secret squirrel’ discussions only at the highest level. I invited other key personnel for their inputs and therefore increased the accountability across the business.

A One-Page Strategic Plan wasn’t just something we created and stashed away inside technology. I printed it as big as the OfficeWorks colour printer allowed us to and hung it where we could all be reminded that’s what we all had committed to, as the year proceeded to roll forward.

Today I shared a short video clip (IGTV and YouTube) on one section of the reporting that I, as the business leader, and also, all the team who were at a level that included their attendance at the strategic retreat got to reflect upon, in the weeks leading up the the strategic retreat itself.

What I’d then do with those inputs from each person’s report was scramble the responses, anonymously on a visual presentation. We could all reflect as one team on the results before we moved on towards creating new outcomes, doing a new SWOT, a new set of KPIs and targets.

Company and individual objectives were agreed as absolutely necessary to be achieved this coming year. That way, we were all aligned with the same mission and clarity of intention towards achieving the bigger 3 year plan objectives and targets.


At the review, there were a few steps of opening day 1.

When we got to the Review of the actual company performance vs what the projection had been – financially or otherwise, we’d take it a step further using the report content that was based on these 7 questions:

  1. In light of the above results, how did you fare in relation to the objectives you (and your team) worked on?
  2. Challenges, Obstacles and Hassles – what is getting in the way, proving to be a challenge or causing anxiety?
  3. Achievements and Successes – what are you proud of having achieved?
  4. Staff Update – any additions or other changes to staffing or personal training or development to note?
  5. Workflow, Procedures and Projects – what changes to workflow, procedures or new projects were there?
  6. Forecast – what areas should you focus on in the coming quarter?
  7. Conclusions – sum up your thoughts, feelings and conclusions about the period in review.

After the quiet contemplation of all that the team had contributed towards that review, we’d then shift position (physically we would as well) and take the key points, the gems, so to speak, and add them to a giant post-it note I called the “Ideas Bank”.

We would use all parts of the review towards defining what was really needing to be our focus for the coming financial year, as a whole, or by the quarters we broke it down to in our strategic review process.

After that was done, everyone usually felt much better for all kinds of reasons. We’d take a tea break and come back to review Trends, Internal and External Events that had been tracked for the previous quarter; in preparation for a SWOT thinking session.

Here’s the video clip that says the same, in a way, however I thought you might appreciate the questions being written as well as verbally shared.
Susan Dunlop Coaching on Strategically Retreating for business
Strategically Retreating Noosa is a service I offer my business coaching and mentoring clients.

It’s where a leader of a business and I get together. I do the set-up of the retreat, and the leader leads the review using the presentation templates, structure and a mix of work, rest and play.

The intention being to set the year up for success and get the best from themselves and their team, big or small.

Two days of strategically retreating that culminates in a beautiful, large, draft One-Page Strategic Plan. It’s then ready to be finalised with a tidy-up of objective wording, agreed KPIs etc, signed as agreed by all contributors, and printed to be hung on the wall back at the office.

Please contact me below or schedule a discovery call time directly via the ‘pink’ button. If I can be of assistance in your plan to strategically retreat in Noosa or some other beautiful place for you to reflect, review, retreat and decide your course of action for the coming year let’s chat!

I am a women’s coach in life and business and a mentor in business.

You can read more via my LinkedIn profile about my prior experience in business, including recommendations.

I’ve drawn on years of personal and professional development and my experience and teachings taken from working with the best experts for growing my own business into my work as a business coach and mentor.

All of that I’ve brought together with my professional training as a coach, under the banner, Susan Dunlop Coaching.

Thank you,

Susan Dunlop

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