What's Next? | Collective Next

What’s Next?

December, 2023

You’re feeling pretty good.

You’ve just completed a thorough 2023 retrospective. Your team has identified what went well and what efforts still need attention. You’ve broken down your organization’s goals and gotten your team completely aligned around them. You’ve never felt so prepared to meet the year ahead. Your step is lighter, and your skin is clearing up. People keep asking you if you’ve been working out. You have not—what they are noticing is the power of collaborative alignment and effective preparation.

Now, there’s only one thing left to do the actual work.

Ways of working

The final step to being truly ready for 2024 is an evaluation of how you’ll get the work done. Most importantly, you’ll need a plan for how you’ll work better as a team. But what does “better” mean for your team? What processes will you change or improve? What ideal “ways of working” does your team aspire to?

Start with your aspirations
Identify the broad, abstract ways that might lead your team to work more effectively and efficiently, together. You don’t have to get specific at this point (that part is coming next). The point here is to identify some aspirations that will serve to guide and inspire your team in the year ahead. These could be things like:

  • We need to be more collaborative
  • We need to be faster in our decision making
  • We want to become better business partners
  • Etc.

Make your aspirations actionable
Once you’ve identified your aspirations, take the following steps to help make them actionable. Work through each aspiration, one at a time, to determine a roadmap and set of concrete changes that will make that aspiration actionable.

Step 1: Articulate some “from/to” shifts for the aspiration. Find some examples of how you used to operate and then declare how those situations will be different when the aspiration becomes reality.
Step 2: Declare what you must “start, stop, and continue” for each aspiration. What are the things you need to start doing to achieve the aspiration? What are you already doing that should continue? And, critically, what behavior or work habits need to stop if the aspiration is going to be realized?

Step 3: Enumerate and commit to the changes necessary. The steps above will have revealed specific behaviors and mindsets that need to be changed in order to meet the aspiration. List them. They should be concrete, things that you can measure and track, e.g.,  “We’re going to send out an agenda ahead of every client meeting.”

Commit to the changes

This work is easier said than done! Conversations about changing mindsets and ways of working can be fraught. The implication, after all, is that some members of your team (including yourself, probably) exhibit behaviors that have to change. But without an honest evaluation of those behaviors, and without an earnest commitment to change what isn’t working, you’ll find your 2024 aspirations for working better remain just that—aspirations.

Immersive Web Experiences / Alexion Culture Transformation Story

This external facing website is designed to showcase the culture transformation that Alexion underwent since 2017. The site utilizes an innovative scroll-based animation design, and also featured a cross-team effort that included creative, production, and digital teams.