It is fall in North Dakota, and we are heading into one of my favorite seasons – winter. Call me a glutton for punishment or flat out crazy, but I love the winter. If taken advantage of, winter can be one of the most active outdoor seasons, with snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, shoveling, car crashes and, best of all (my favorite), ice fishing.
Seasonal Transitions and Fiscal Year Planning
However, before we get to those fun winter activities, we need to work our way through fall. Fall brings a great opportunity for picturesque family photos as well as a chance to clean out garages full of bikes, golf clubs and other miscellaneous “collections” accumulated through the summer.
Fall also signals the impending start of the next fiscal year while we maintain focus on closing out 2015 and planning for 2016. Plans and budgets are being finalized within our organizations to ensure that we are set up for success in 2016 and beyond. And, as if a budgeting process is not difficult enough, we need to add contingency plans for legislative measures and changes in national and state policy. For example, how will the Clean Power Plan, Renewable Portfolio Standards, Physical/Cyber security, Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit affect our business plans and strategic goals? As if the current legislation on the table is not enough to consider, we are also entering an election year that will yield a new administration.
The old adage is that, “if you fail to plan, you should plan to fail.” Planning in a dynamic market has its challenges and requires us all to look at it in a different light. We can all agree that a 10 year plan is not something that we can count on as a highly accurate business strategy. With the new regulations and competition in the utility market place, we are entering a highly dynamic environment. In looking ahead to executing on upcoming goals, here are some good strategies to keep you on track;
– Stay connected and keep your network strong
– Don’t forget about your employees
– Get comfortable with being nimble
– Look for the small wins and celebrate them
– Make some mistakes…and learn quickly from them
We have a little more than a month left in 2015. I’m looking forward to maintaining focus and putting 2015’s success’s on ice, while we all reset for 2016.