Strategic planning is one of the most important exercises you can undertake at any time of year, but in Q4 it is particularly crucial. Now is the time to finish key projects for the year, plan for new projects and consider issues facing the company at the end of this year and going into the next. For many, this includes looking at the team at a micro level, as well as thinking about macro issues affecting the industry. With that in mind, we’ve set out three of the things that shouldn’t be missed from your board level agenda this quarter. 

1. GDPR – the saga continues

Most companies, particularly those with direct consumer interaction, such as retail, should now be well on the way to a level of compliance they are comfortable with. Having completed all GDPR projects at this stage would be a great place to be, but doesn’t seem to be the reality for many. Much of this will be due to the difficulty in scoping compliance projects as well as pressure on resources. However, going into Q4 is a good time to take stock and address any niggling issues that might push projects into next year. Taking on additional resources at this stage may be necessary, and teams shouldn’t be afraid to do so if needed to get the job done. It’s worth considering that the regulator is likely to be less patient going into 2019, particularly as retailers continue to be threatened by data breach issues.

2.Team planning – Visa considerations

With Brexit on the horizon, one of the key considerations for many businesses across industries will be talent mapping. In particular, how to ensure consistency and stability across a workforce threatened by immigration changes and in particular the impact of a drop in those coming to the UK from the EU, many of whom provide crucial resource across consumer-facing industries such as hospitality, leisure and retail. Talent mapping at this stage is key at all levels.

3. Brexit planning

At this stage, all indications are that we are heading towards a hard Brexit. Whilst no one seems sure about what that will mean in practice, for retailers there are likely to be changes and challenges that put pressure on an already tightly managed workforce. Ensuring you have the right leadership team to support your company through challenging times ahead will be key to maintaining steady success despite the trading environment. Leadership consulting and talent mapping can help you to spot the gaps in your team and identify where you may benefit from greater executive resource.