Are You 1/4 Full or 1/4 Empty?

Can you believe that the first quarter of 2017 is almost over? The end of each quarter brings with it a time of reflection and accountability, as you monitor your progress celebrating or commiserating accordingly.  Are you running on ¼ full this April, or ¼ empty? It’s time to reflect on the progress you have made with the goals you established in January.

Plan to Achieve! It’s no accident

At Scope Vision we are mad about planning. We adore spontaneity provided it’s carefully planned! If you haven’t yet downloaded our free ‘Be Awesome - Plan to Achieve’ planning tools, then you’re crazy.

Our suite contains a personal planner, business planner, project planner, monthly perspective, marketing perspective and an awesome Plan on a Page template; everything you need to achieve and succeed and it’s free! We believe planning in business shouldn’t be daunting; so here’s our ‘How to guide’ on planning to achieve.

Establish and set SMART personal, professional, team and business goals; then regularly monitor them


If you don’t get specific and make goals measurable and achievable, then they will never be realised in a timely manner. It’s one thing to establish them, but if you don’t follow up your progress and monitor them, then you are part way to nowhere.

Generate awesome plans

Put your intentions in writing; be creative, make it fun! You have to plan your execution so you can execute your plan. Collaborate with your team creating SMART goals in all key drivers of your business. Areas we plan for include:

  1. Sales
  2. Marketing Strategy
  3. Financial
  4. Business Goals [Plan on a Page]
  5. Workforce and People Development
  6. Personal Master Task Lists
  7. Various Project Plans
  8. Work Health and Safety

There’s no point planning for the sake of planning! Plans need to be real, working documents that capture your vision and what you do. As Zig Ziglar attests ‘Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation’. So plan every opportunity and then execute.

SWOT and SOAR your way to success

To SWOT or not to SWOT, that is the question. At Scope Vision we definitely say SWOT it! SWOT your business (as part of your strategic planning process); your team (to uncover the status quo) ; an opportunity you want to effectively explore; a competitor you would like to analyse; a problem you need to solve; a product in its life cycle; a person you would like to develop and grow….SWOT it!

Strengths identified should be leveraged with action plans established to take advantage of them; weaknesses should be actioned with a view to diminish them. Opportunities must be actioned to take full advantage of them and threats should be reviewed assessing the impact they will have moving forward. Ultimately we want to mitigate threats, or worst case scenario minimise their impact.

SOAR: a new planning approach to SWOT

SOAR provides more of a strength-based focus than that of SWOT. The main differential between the two is that weaknesses are explored and reframed as opportunities in the ‘O’ quadrant of SOAR. Adopting an appreciative inquiry approach when considering weaknesses, gives you the opportunity to focus on improvement and growing capabilities, rather than spending too long focussing on the negative.

SOAR provides a framework for conversations in the areas of:

  • What you are doing well?
  • What skills you can improve on?
  • What is most compelling to you and your stakeholders?; and
  • Engaging in appreciative inquiry

At Scope Vision we use SOAR monthly to pulse check our strengths, review the opportunities we must focus on, visualise where we want to go, and get clear on the results that will measure our success. It’s a fantastic process and tool to check our progress. Take a look at our January SOAR in action and read more on the concept in our latest eBook Don’t Just Fly…SOAR.

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Analyse your environment: PESTLE

It’s always important to view your business in the context of the broader environment in which you operate; PESTLE is the right tool to do this. PESTLE asks you to analyse the impact of the following factors on your business continuity: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental.  Once established, you only need to pulse check your analysis once a quarter, or when a significant change occurs. Whilst many of the factors analysed are beyond our circle of control, in business we still need to strategise how we will minimise the potential impact of each. Even the smallest of businesses are not immune to global impacts, as evidenced during the GFC.

Lessons learned; a time of reflection

We use our ‘Monthly Perspective’ tool to reflect on and capture what we have achieved, what’s working well for us, the challenges we faced and what we have done to action plan these.

We find the more reflective we are, the more effective we become. Reflecting on the last month helps us to look forward and influences the blueprint of our future plans. Analysing critical business moments affords us the opportunity to explore and refine our current practices; identifying those that are working well for us and highlighting clearly those we should stop. If results are the reflection of your efforts, then you need to ensure that your efforts are focused on the right activities and that you PAY yourself well .

Evoke success through planning

We hope you agree that planning isn’t daunting; it’s fun! Visualise the future, generate SMART goals to action plan, monitor your progress and mindset, measure your results and push boundaries, be agile and adapt, be curious and grow. Confidence and capabilities fast replace hopes and dreams, as your plan to achieve evolves!

If you❤  this article and think it worthy of sharing; hit the share button! Be curious and engage!

Maria-Jane Satterthwaite

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 29, MJ knew her journey was going to be unique! 

No way was she going to waste any of her years working 9-5 under poor leadership! She seized the opportunity to become an independent worker; starting her own Registered Training Organisation, Scope Vision.

MJ’s curiosity into what drives people, and businesses, to achieve success has been the passion recognised in her award-winning business. The drive to continue to train and embrace lifelong learning has been her key to success, and she wants to see this happen for others.

20 years on, the passion and curiosity she’s used to shape the businesses she works with, and her longevity in these relationships have inspired her to think about the future of work; what this will mean for workers in general and indeed her own business. Find out more about MJ