What a difference a deadline makes!

Have you found that during the last month of your financial year there is more focused activity towards meeting annual budgets and KPI’s?

What is different?  The end of financial year is just a line in the sand.  But everybody buys into it, don’t they.  It is a deadline that creates urgency.  This urgency means that we are focused on the most important activities – we are doing the stuff that really counts. Energy is high, there is less procrastination, and blocks are addressed.  We look forward, with anticipation to the new year – a fresh start!

So why not have an EOFY every month?  If big goals are kicked in this deadline driven environment at year end – then why not replicate it during the year.  We become more focused, more productive, more inventive and get to celebrate the new year 12 times a year.

Have you noticed that, when you have a bad month early in the year it doesn’t seem so significant because you have plenty of time, another 10 months or so, to make it up.

What a waste!  And what is going to change?  Why do we think that we are going to perform above current levels in order to catch up if we are not doing it now?  This is a mindset which I have found is often the precursor to poor full year results – the underlying belief that there is enough time to catch up – the urgency hasn’t kicked in and we are kidding ourselves!

If we don’t have 10 months or so to catch up then this reasoning is invalid.  If we have an EOFY every month then having a poor month really isn’t an option.  Every month matters.

Then there is the “what’s the point” mentality that occurs when annual budgets and KPI’s seem impossible to reach.

The team gives up and becomes even less effective.  This can occur 3 months (or more) out from year end and this lack of achievement can become very demoralising.  The team can’t wait for 1 July when the slate gets wiped and a new story begins.  What a waste – so much time spent (and never to be regained!) at well below potential.

With an EOFY every month, you get to start again more often – a new “year”, a new budget, new KPI’s, new energy!  You get to take time to celebrate your progress and your wins and to reset 12 times each year.

Warning!!  This is not just about breaking your annual plan down to more “doable” chunks – it is a mindset which must become part of the way you do things.

Your language, your thinking, your actions must all align with the new belief that there are 12 EOFY’s each financial year.  Or that your years are now 4 weeks long not 52!  It won’t work if there is an underlying belief that 30 June is the actual deadline and this is when the results that really matter are measured.  Once installed into your culture the 1 month year creates a heightened sense of urgency and an increased focus on the critical activities which drive results and fulfilment.

Don’t wait until 30 June to change to your 1 month year – it can be implemented at any time.

Businesses we are working with to create their 12 month plans now, are starting their first 1 month year from 1 July – the longer you wait the more time passes, the more opportunities you are missing.

The mindset that comes with this concept is very powerful – each month we aim to be better than the previous month. The cry is – “How will we beat last month”!  The compounding effect of growth month by month is the key.  Compare this to waiting 12 months to know if you have outperformed the previous year!

You may even choose for 30 June not to be one of your year ends for your business – to take that arbitrary line in the sand out of contention.

By the way, just 12 months ago we were working with an EOFY every 3 months.  Now we have chunked down even further to 1 month years.  Why?  Because:

  • The compounding effect is even more powerful;
  • The focus more sharp;
  • The business environment is changing even more quickly;
  • We are better positioned with a monthly timeframe to pre-empt change; and
  • 30 days versus 365 days – brings a very different urgency

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