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“Having a vision gives others a chance to be a part of it, and to also help shape it. Everyone can shape how fast we get there” – Ash Weston

By Jessie Stewart

As the world continues to shift, become better connected and evolve, concepts such as planning are no longer solely in the hands of principals, directors and CEOs. Instead conversations are being opened to all staff, and they’re not just talking about the next 12 months either.

Ash Weston of Ray White Frankston is leading the way for his office. If you’re not familiar with the name Ash Weston, you should be. He’s a force to be reckoned with who speaks at a million miles an hour – oh, and did we mention he’s in the top 3% of agents internationally?

When asked about his planning prowess, Ash humbly states that it’s not all him and that his planning is a collaborative effort at the Frankston Office, marking a positive move forward in the changing landscape of planning.

Traditionally, planning has been thought of as a top-down approach, where senior positions stipulate their expectations, goals and vision for the future. However as the planning landscape changes, this is sure to become a rarity rather than the norm.

Collaborative approaches to planning, strategy and vision encourage those within the business to take goals upon themselves as they can recognise that they each have a vested interest in seeing the vision come to fruition. And that’s where key inspiration for Ash Weston’s impressive 15 year strategic plan came from: “the inspiration for a 15 year goal also came from people within the business and where they want to go and making sure we incorporate everyone’s visions in the business, so everyone is engaged and as passionate as I am”

For Ash Weston, his approach comes down to understanding what each team member wants to get out of their career.  He does this by checking in with each team member to get a sense of what they’re enjoying, what they’re not and where they see themselves in 1, 5 and 10 years. This provides him with the intel required to include the paths they want to travel in the long-term plan, as well as plan for required training and mentorship.

It’s not just the people involved who are driving the current planning shake up, it’s the length of time being discussed.

A 15 year ‘game plan’ may seem like planning overkill, especially in comparison to the typical ‘12 month plan’, however it’s an inclusion that ensures every goal and subsequent action is leading to where you ultimately want to be. Ash advises that agencies looking to start their own 15 year plan should begin by envisioning their ultimate goal and breaking it down into ‘bite sized chunks’ by asking questions such as ‘what does this need to look like in 10, 5, 3, years to get to where this needs to be’ and then focusing on the next 12 months ahead, making sure every decision is in line with your 15 year goal.

For those serious about transformation through planning and goals, it’s a lifestyle. “I spend a lot of time with people that are running the businesses that I aspire to run. I’ve got a great mentor group now and a selection of people that are so willing to share and give advice and are really passionate about helping us on our journey” shares Ash.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the new age of planning, it’s time to take a few pages out of Ash Weston’s book. Collaboration, clear vision and immersion in inspirational communities are the initial stepping stones to greener pastures, as well as a zealous attitude: “I bounce out of bed every morning at 5am and hit the office at 6am. Full of energy, ready to attack the day. For me, it’s definitely a passion, no doubt about that”.

Author: Maree Watson-Ellard

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