EP 49: Five Tips for 2022 Planning with Damon Clark

Five Tips for 2022 Planning

Planning for the future may not always seem like the most exciting task, but this is an essential step toward business (and personal) success. Through proper planning, you can ensure your business is on the right track to meet its goals and you are taking the necessary steps to make your dreams a reality. Today Damon Clark, Talent Optimization Consultant for Talent Optimizers, joins the show to discuss this topic and more.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • Five tips before going into 2022 planning. (3:19)
  • How to avoid disagreements in the workplace. (8:30)
  • The importance of setting up a process for reviewing your goals. (14:40)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Understand how you can help with planning for 2022. (21:35)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Reach out and bring someone in to help you with planning. (19:49)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Unless you can step out of the tactical day-to-day work, you’re not going to grow and flourish as much as you should.” - @damonfclark Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization with Tracy sherck we are thrilled that you are here today as we chat about pausing and reflecting on the work that we’ve done in 2021.

Traci Scherck: and planning for 2022 so with me today I have Damon Clark and damon is a talent optimizer with his company called talent optimizer is very original right so David welcome to the show.

Damon Clark: hey, thank you for having me it’s very exciting.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely so i’m super curious what has been fulfilling to you and your work in 2021.

Damon Clark: Well, as he gave me so much time to think about this.

Damon Clark: So in 2021 i’ve been working with predictive index or inverted index for last two years and i’ve just recently moved out of the predictive index and set up my consultancy.

Damon Clark: i’m still consulting back with a predictive index, but the last year i’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with wonderful partners such as yourself.

Damon Clark: And, and this is no exaggeration i’ve woke up every morning excited to get to my desk to work, I mean I truly did a job I absolutely adored.

Damon Clark: And predictive index their one of their main slogans is better world better work and they really worked with me to give me the freedom I needed to a maverick reference profile, or what I think believe you’ve spoken about in some of the other podcasts and.

Traci Scherck: And if you’re curious about what your profile is, we will have a link in the show notes, so that you can go ahead and take that and figure out what are you.

Damon Clark: So yeah we’re both mavericks so we often get distracted and we talk and have great ideas but predictive index really let me a maverick likes to have the kind of freedom to explore and innovate and they really let me do that so for two years, they just let me test.

Damon Clark: You know, working my partners on new ideas feed it back in, and I was always left on a little bit of an island to kind of explore and feedback what i’ve learned and you know my career of I don’t want to think how many years now.

Damon Clark: Mid 40s something, but during my career i’ve never been in a job, where I enjoyed it so much.

Damon Clark: And so i’m thankful for.

Damon Clark: You know just having the ability to make a difference with my partners and also work in a way, I really enjoy and get a lot of.

Traci Scherck: awesome Thank you so much for that so as we reflect on 2021.

Traci Scherck: And if you haven’t listened to last week’s podcast i’m going to kind of give you a nudge to do that because we talked about the importance of reflection and I wanted to kind of showcase that here a little bit today.

Traci Scherck: Of what does that reflection really look like on the spot, without having any prior warning that that’s what you’re going to do.

Traci Scherck: So, but when we reflect it allows us to really see what are those things that are great that happened, but also what are those results that we didn’t hit and I didn’t ask damon to go into that piece.

Traci Scherck: You know, but that’s something that, as you’re reflecting understanding hey did I hit every result that I had inside of my organization.

Traci Scherck: Because what that does is that is your roadmap, that is your springboard for how you plan for the next year to really execute on those items.

Traci Scherck: and ensure that guess what are you focusing on the right things because there may be things that are currently under roadmap that have no business being there so damon i’m so excited to talk about the five tips before going into the planning.

Damon Clark: yeah absolutely, so this is quite close to my heart, because I wish I had these five tips going back 15 years ago when I started my own business.

Damon Clark: Because if i’d have followed him, I think I would have a little bit less stress, I mean you know we were successful, but it didn’t come without a little bit of stress anxiety so yeah i’m excited to go through my top tips for 2022 planning.

Traci Scherck: And yeah So what are they.

Damon Clark: Number one is basically not to avoid it and i’m having a lot of these conversations at the moments, with some of my clients and some of the team members don’t want to take the time out.

Damon Clark: To do an off site.

Damon Clark: Which is to me absolutely crazy.

Damon Clark: it’s not too late to get it done, and you know spending two days on an off site to get a team aligned on my strategy moving forward.

Damon Clark: couldn’t be a better use of your time but I hear it, I hear of a common situation that teams don’t want to do this because they’re so busy they just want to get their jobs done, but unless you can step out of the day to day tactical work.

Damon Clark: You know you’re not going to move forward.

Damon Clark: and grow and flourish as much as you should do.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and I think you know something that we hear so often from the clients that we’re working with is Tracy what’s the Roi on why is this important.

Traci Scherck: And you know, the question that we typically ask the say hey are you currently hitting your business results.

Traci Scherck: And are the people inside your organization fulfilled in the work that they’re doing, which results in being engaged more profitable and more productive.

Traci Scherck: And those answers are typically either know or you know what there’s room for some growth here.

Traci Scherck: And you know, then the next question is well, what does the time look like and what does the costs look like right so many times Those are some of those two drivers and I will name for us damon you actually came in and did this for our team.

Traci Scherck: You know, and what was so incredible about that time within our team and, by the way, we will you’ll hear more about.

Traci Scherck: Our team’s experience with us next week on the podcast um.

Traci Scherck: But what was incredible about that is that we saw so many of the things, both individually and as a team that we were doing amazingly well and where we could shift and we implemented a lot of those so i’ll save that for next week so tip.

Traci Scherck: Number one is.

Traci Scherck: don’t avoid it and make sure that you know you don’t underestimate that value.

Damon Clark: And also, but the value of a third party facilitator so obviously you work in talent strategy.

Damon Clark: That you.

Damon Clark: saw the value of bringing someone else in to navigate back conversation and that sort of feeds into that you know situation of doing that meeting so important, so Hats off to you.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, I think that that’s something so important for a facilitator, or you know that executive coach or that business coach is guess what we can’t see our own crap because we don’t want to write.

Traci Scherck: And it’s really hard to see it ourselves, whereas when you have that third party that doesn’t have that that those emotional ties and investment.

Traci Scherck: They can see things much more clearly and be able to mere those things back in a way that goes oh my gosh here’s a ton of has that it’s right under my nose, but I can’t see it, you know.

Traci Scherck: A mentor of mine, Jim coarser would always say you know guess what the cobblers kids don’t have shoes always remember that.

Damon Clark: Absolutely absolutely it was funny back in my hubspot days I worked a lot of marketing agencies and.

Damon Clark: funny thing is fair marketing was terrible because they’d always be working on other people’s marketing and if they’re getting their own marketing so yeah it’s quite a common situation in business.

Damon Clark: But that’s a good segway actually that’s kind of third party facilitation to my next tip.

Damon Clark: Which is try and collaborate to avoid silence disagreements and a third party facility facilitator can help you do that, and the reason why this is important, is particularly business owners who are quite strong minded.

Damon Clark: Quite dominant.

Damon Clark: You know, having that ability to collaborate and get everyone out on the table is so key because for silent disagreements, is what kills targets and teams is having those people in the room who don’t quite believe what you say, or don’t quite agree have a path on how to get there.

Damon Clark: So, having that third party facilitator and having that meeting and collaborating and getting everything out on the table is so important and.

Damon Clark: I kind of use for five dysfunctions of a team model.

Damon Clark: by Patrick geysery and he talks about you know building that trust to uncover you know, to get every girl on the table.

Damon Clark: You know, to understand that conflict is healthy, in order to get everyone’s ideas out there and then you’re going to get a lot more buy in and commitment to the goals you’re trying to achieve so that’s my second tip is.

Damon Clark: Really, making sure you collaborate within that team to figure out what the target should be and how you’re going to get there.

Traci Scherck: Great, thank you for that and what’s your.

Damon Clark: definition of done so, this comes from, for me, is, I believe.

Damon Clark: i’m a big fan of.

Traci Scherck: Before we move forward and I know, sometimes we lose our listeners and alphabet soup so, can you define what eos is.

Damon Clark: Absolutely us is the ultra entrepreneurial operating system.

Damon Clark: And it’s basically a operating system run your business on, you know how to do your business plan how to manage your meetings.

Damon Clark: and basically everything you need to know to run a business so.

Damon Clark: You know, often in my consulting I go in and focus on talent.

Damon Clark: and end up working on kind of setting up business processes to help that side of things as well, so I do a lot of strategy work and the book, but a great book called traction which goes through the operating system and it’s a very easy read and I highly recommend it to anybody.

Damon Clark: But in there when we’re working out targets 2022 targets.

Damon Clark: They talk a lot about definition of done.

Damon Clark: And what we want is no ambiguity, or whatever your goals are achieved at the end of the year, so an example, I have is, I see this all the time, you know we work out our kind of strategy and targets and goals and we get something like we’re going to set up a CRM.

Damon Clark: And now, how do you know that’s been done or not because I mean setting up CRM could just be you know purchasing it online.

Damon Clark: there’s no value in that so something better would be.

Damon Clark: implemented CRM to ensure all existing clients with and contact so when the new CRM is segmented into categories and we knew forecasts and timelines to be complete for all clients.

Damon Clark: So that’s a little bit more robust, there should be a timeframe on that as well it’s a little bit more of a math done or not done, you know we don’t want to get to the end of the year thinking.

Damon Clark: You know, was achieved so it’s my it’s my third tip is just make sure all your goals are wordsmith appropriately to make sure you know that done at the end view and all.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and I think we’ve all heard of the smart goals are they specific, measurable actionable realistic time based I always had a why on to the end of it, which is why are we doing it.

Traci Scherck: Does this tie back to you know our the mission of our organization and you know and we tend to call them done done is that done done right.

Traci Scherck: there’s the definition of done meaning, you know yeah that’s done but done done is essentially Okay, but what about all the rabbit holes that you went down to actually get the the those business results right.

Traci Scherck: And when we look at those goals, one of the things that I love to look at and I love that you have this definition of done is, are we talking about done as an outcome.

Traci Scherck: or done as an output and if you’ve listened to my podcast you’ve heard me talk about this a ton and I think damon you and I have had several conversations about the distinction between an output and an outcome right.

Traci Scherck: That output is you know Okay, we purchased the thing great that’s done, but the outcome is Is it actually.

Traci Scherck: getting us to you know that example that you provided with the three leads and the three vertical focus nurturing email setup to auto publish.

Traci Scherck: And that outcome, then you know so that’s an output that outcome is going to be do we have new clients coming into the system without us manually touching it and and outcomes three new clients by xyz day right.

Damon Clark: yeah absolutely and that’s and that’s part of what yes goes for rock system, and you know being really sure this is the goal, this is how we’re going to achieve it.

Traci Scherck: yeah yeah.

Damon Clark: which I love which, which is a day’s work.


Traci Scherck: For sure.


Damon Clark: And then it all that also helps with his focus, so I find.

Damon Clark: You know, sometimes you know when people are saying hey you haven’t got time for this meeting going through this process is going to help.

Damon Clark: Teams really understand what we should be doing and how it’s going to feed into the overarching goals and that’s going to cascade down throughout the organization so also helps with focus, which is an important thing.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely okay so we’ve gone through three or five tips so far, so the first one that we went through was um.

Traci Scherck: You know don’t avoid those kind of insights and or underestimate the value of that planning and collaboration is a key.

Traci Scherck: piece of this planning, because it allows you to avoid that silent disagreement and then the third piece that we’ve talked about so far is define what done actually is before you start so that you know you can celebrate those results um what’s the fourth.

Damon Clark: The fourth one is reviewing it feeds into definition of done or feeds from definition done and that’s putting in a process to review, so I would be booking my quarterly meetings for next year now.

Damon Clark: And then working out what your cadences as a team to review those those goals.

Damon Clark: And, but again, this is a new year, so kind of format, but you know once we’ve picked our company goals our individual goals is setting up a process, just to see whether we’re off track on track.

Damon Clark: And and there’s when that questions asked you is you go off track and on track there’s no but if it’s just simply off track on track and then.

Damon Clark: And if it’s off track there’s not a problem there, then we can move that into a situation where we can identify why it is off track and try and solve.

Damon Clark: The challenge of getting it back on track, so you know, making sure that team understands that we should be ashamed doesn’t be enough drank It provides the opportunity to work as a team to get it back on track, so that’s my fourth tip is.

Damon Clark: review in progress with a kind of off track on track system.

Traci Scherck: I love that, and you know what’s so interesting about this and you said this it’s either on track or off track our brain has this really fun way.

Traci Scherck: i’m using fun in quotes here our brain has this really fun way of making things so much more complicated than they really need to be.

Traci Scherck: Right and when we when our brain creates more complication or confusion, two things it stops us from actually getting those things done.

Traci Scherck: So keep this stuff simple it’s not complicated it doesn’t have to be complicated, and I think, as you start looking at this thing going oh my gosh i’m creating all these other things here pull yourself back to say yes or no.

Traci Scherck: on track or off track that’s it I love it.

Damon Clark: And then you can be cool ids so identified discuss solve so very nice yes ability to identify why it’s off track discuss it and then get it back on track.

Traci Scherck: Right absolutely.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely and that’s a key part of that reflection right if we don’t do the reflection we don’t know if we’re off track or on track.

Traci Scherck: You know and that’s that power of reflecting without the the blame or the shame, or all the things that go along with it and just saying i’m curious is this or isn’t this and then we’re going to figure it out, so we can make it happen.

Damon Clark: yeah and it’s something so simple so simple so powerful.

Damon Clark: And so doing here my last one.

I do.

Damon Clark: So my last one is team alignment or strategy, and this is a big one, obviously, from what we do as talent consultants, but.

Damon Clark: This rarely happens and it’s probably the biggest.

Damon Clark: reason why targets, I missed.

Damon Clark: Is that very rarely two teams After setting that strategy really think about is whether the team’s aligned to execute upon that strategy, and if they’re not, what can I do to solve that.

Damon Clark: So it’s putting in place a system to understand or discuss how teams launch strategy which is so key.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely awesome and so the workshop that we did with you damon was the high performance workshop and that’s also a workshop that we leave here as well.

Traci Scherck: And it’s really aligning that because guess what you’ve got the job to be done, and then you have the person doing the job right, so you want it Those are two sides of the same coin.

Traci Scherck: And yet, when we start to look at what is our business strategy and what are those business results that we’re looking to execute on.

Traci Scherck: If we don’t have our teams aligned so often if we if we don’t have those teams aligned and consciously look at that.

Traci Scherck: Our teams may be going in different directions and not in the direction, which is the strategy that we’re trying to execute on and a lot of times it doesn’t take.

Traci Scherck: Huge tweaks to get everyone on the same page and when we do is when we kind of create those teams that everything’s in flow and they’re fun, which means guess what you’re fulfilled in your work, but.

Damon Clark: I suppose it’s like i’m thinking of an analogy, but I sometimes like sense, putting a team of left handed.

Damon Clark: individuals and trying to make them right to your right hand or it’s like a soccer team and playing all your strikers and forwards back and Defense and your defenders and gaudy up front so.

Damon Clark: You know, and nowadays we can easily use data to understand if that team is aligned strategy so that’s the amazing thing we can do now is.

Damon Clark: We can assess teams behavior as it as a team, and also, we can map it to strategy, and we can look at those blind spots and then put a plan in place to ensure those blind spots don’t happen.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely so i’m super curious damon what is one takeaway that you have for CEOs listening in today.

Damon Clark: Oh okay you put me on the spot a lot today.

Damon Clark: that’s the one takeaway So hopefully i’ve given five.

Damon Clark: You know, five great great tips there, but if I was gonna give you one and prioritize.

Damon Clark: it’s gonna be reach out and bring someone in to help you have this because.

Damon Clark: You know, we particularly on leadership teams, you know we’ve all you know leadership teams, mostly consists of high performing individuals.

Damon Clark: And they have great awareness and they’ve you know they’ve worked with business operating systems and understand the strategy and sometimes can be inclined, you know not to reach out for help.

Damon Clark: And I, and I think that ability to get a third party and who can share some insight from other organizations who can facilitate a discussion, who can.

Damon Clark: You know, bring out the quiet voices and give a format, you know for power of that is incredible and it’s something I didn’t take advantage, often in my business my previous life.

Damon Clark: and knowing what I know now I am 100% certain that if I ever had that consultant and coach to come and help me navigate that journey, I went through.

Damon Clark: You know that 10 years I spent working in my business, I think I would have achieved what I did over 10 years in three four years so that would be my one takeaways is reach out and bring in you know, an expert to come and help navigate this journey because it’s hard.

Damon Clark: Particularly around talent right and particularly now when talent is sparse.

Damon Clark: We got people leaving you know, we need to really look after our talents and get that talent all focused in the same direction and that’s something which someone like you know yourself is well positioned to come and help with.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely absolutely and so what’s that takeaway for our human resources professionals that are listening in today.

Damon Clark: Well, the human resource professionals are the absolute nucleus of talent, so I mean this this area is such an exciting area for HR because.

Damon Clark: You know we’re looking at talent differently now you know we’re thinking about how do we optimize talents, how do we solve engagement problems, how do we solve a remote work and problem so.

Damon Clark: server world of HR has been kind of you know flipped upside down and there’s so much more responsibility now.

Damon Clark: So it’s an exciting time but with that excitement comes complications and you know challenges

Traci Scherck: Thank you so much for joining us, and I hope you enjoyed our conversation here today and enjoy your holiday season Thank you so much.

Damon Clark: Thank you.