SUPPOSE you had to read your business card each morning in order to remember who you are and what you do. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Yet, because we can lose ourselves in the maze of daily work details, we need to step back and regain our perspective.

Why are we here? What are we doing? Why does it matter? How can we get it done better, cheaper and faster? Do we still fit into the big picture?


Fresh new answers

Hitting the reset button for the upcoming year means finding fresh new answers for boilerplate business questions — who, what, when, where, why and how much?

Even if you are an old hand at your job, you know that there is one constant truth about these variables — they always vary.

In professional terms, they may be easy to assimilate, but how about on a personal level?

For example, take “who”. Another-who-other-than-you just got promoted to head a department and spearhead a major project.

Now “what?”

A kickoff meeting may help you and his other underlings to process “why” this change was made and “how” it may impact the team and the project itself.

As the big wheels move, the cogs need to understand how they fit into the grand scheme of things.


Kickoff meeting

A well-planned kickoff meeting can also remind the big wheels of a hard truth: Without the cogs, they aren’t actually wheels of any size or significance.

Usually the answer to “why” is an obvious one: to win in the end.

But what does winning look like?

Is it the size of the bottom line or a boost to the prestige of the company?

Is it a measurably larger impact on the industry regionally or even globally?

Does it mean a stronger connection with the local community or greater social responsibility?

Vision casting at a kickoff meeting can be the catalyst that ignites or re-ignites the fuse for greater team fusion.

It can facilitate a total buy-in by everyone and make handling the stresses and risks of a new business venture easier to bear.

At the risk of stretching the kicking metaphor beyond reasonable limits, a healthy kickoff meeting should mean no kickback.

With some industrial machinery, there can be a sudden uncontrolled movement when an obstruction is hit unexpectedly.

This is also true of the corporate machinery of the boardroom.

An unexpected challenge to a policy or personnel change can be regarded as obstructive and divisive, but this mindset should be avoided, if at all possible.

All stakeholders should have the opportunity to speak up and speak out without the risk of a kickback or backlash.

In football, soccer and business, a kickoff marks a new beginning — a fresh start.

And as in football and soccer, a business kickoff is only successful if the ball is in the right place, addressed by the right player, with the rest of the team knowing what play to execute and how.

Clarity about what the end is supposed to look like helps everyone involved to get off on the right foot from the beginning.


Article by Rob Jackson, president of Magnovo Training Group, a soft-skills training company that focuses on corporate team building, presentation training and leadership development. He is also a member of the National Speaker’s Association and has been a speaker and trainer for over 20 years. Website: Article source: