Mid-Year Leadership Review: Assessing and Adjusting Your Strategy

In today’s world, the chances of circumstances remaining exactly the same from the time you complete your annual plan to the time you execute that plan are slim. Adaptability and open-mindedness are key components of the best plan, along with dedicating time to assess the plan and adjust your strategy. That’s where your mid-year review comes in.

Factors to Consider in Your Mid-Year Review

The most important thing you can do during your mid-year strategy review is ask what has changed. It’s self-explanatory. We live in a world of constant change. It’s not good enough to talk about your strategy once a year. I encourage leaders to address the following topics in their agenda for their mid-year review.

Understand what has changed: Start at a high level and then dial down deeper into your business to identify changes by sector or service offering. How does change in one area affect other areas? As things change in one area, there’s going to be an impact in other areas.

Identify what needs to change: Ask yourself if you’ve adapted to changes. If not, how do you need to adapt? It’s necessary to examine each part of your strategy against the changing circumstances.

Assess your team: Ask yourself if you still have the right people in the right roles, especially in light of changing circumstances and what you need to do in response to those changes.

Review your accomplishments: Celebrate what you’ve already accomplished while also analyzing how your goals may need to change in light of changing circumstances. Consider what you’ve accomplished and what you haven’t gotten to yet. Are your goals and your long-term strategy still aligned? It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re starting over if your goals need to evolve. Aim to look at things with fresh eyes.

How to Prepare for Your Mid-Year Review

It’s crucial to approach your mid-year review with an open mind. You can’t be too attached to your original plan, and you must fight the impulse to remain with the status quo. You also have to be willing to see things from other people’s perspectives. What your purchasing team sees differs from your manufacturing or sales teams; their viewpoints combine to tell the whole story.

Preparing for your mid-year review also means doing your research, analyzing current data, and looking at the big picture. Take a deep dive into your data from the first half of the year and interpret it objectively. Is it telling everybody the same story? What outside data points do you need? You may have to consider economic changes, supply chain issues, geopolitical issues, or other world events.

As a leader, you’re responsible for making sure your team is open-minded and prepared for your mid-year review as well. I recommend having discussions within your leadership team beforehand. Make sure you all consider sufficient data points and come prepared. Your teams may disagree along the way but make sure they end up aligned with one another.

Lastly, I advise that you encourage difficult conversations and respectful conflict within your team discussions. Push each other to challenge the status quo of your organization. Your review is not just an opportunity to address things that may be going wrong; it’s a chance to reveal new opportunities and what could be going right. Don’t position your review as a negative thing. It’s an exciting time to capitalize on opportunities.

Challenges to Anticipate

Complacency is the biggest challenge to watch out for when conducting your mid-year review. Why? People don’t like change. Say you’re taking a train to get from point A to point B. Most of us would rather sit back and enjoy the ride than have to get off and change trains. It’s the same with adjusting your strategy; it’s easier to stick with one plan than have to change halfway through—but that’s how you get where you need to go.

Depending on the changes you face, you may also need to dedicate resources to change management on top of adjusting your strategy. Examine the significance of the changes. You may need to do some extra coaching as you adapt your strategy and recalibrate your team to make sure everyone is still working toward the same goals.

Your Mid-Year Leadership Review

Yes, it takes time and resources to conduct an effective mid-year review, but it’s worth it every time. The longevity of your business depends on it. How does your approach to your mid-year review measure up?

Questions to Consider

  1. What’s changed since you established your annual plan?
  2. Does everyone in your organization understand the changes?
  3. When it comes to your mid-year review, are you proactive or complacent?

If you’d like to discuss best practices for your mid-year leadership review, contact me. I’d love to help you learn more about leadership development, strategy, and high-performing teams.