The aim of this blog series is to remove these common business leader blind spots by focusing your attention on each issue and bringing visibility and understanding to concepts that will be easier to see and, therefore, improve over time.
To be clear, “Company Planning” for our purpose means defining what you want your company to accomplish and how you will know when you achieve it. A company plan includes several consistent components that we won’t go into here but you can review in a previous blog post here. For now, it is sufficient to understand that good company planning will include meaningful definitions for the following items:
Like most written descriptions, they get better over time through the process of discussion and revision. This is one primary reason why many business leaders fail to see the value in company planning; they try it a few times but don’t return to the information consistently enough for it to become highly meaningful for everyone involved. They then disregard the Company Planning strategy and discipline thinking it isn’t that helpful when in reality they failed to implement and execute it effectively from the outset.
A second reason many business leaders overlook the importance of Company Planning is that we are not typically very good at it initially. One of my favourite sayings comes to mind when writing this: “anything worth doing well is initially worth doing poorly.” This is often the case with Company Planning. It takes time to get the required sense of when to push a team for clarity and when to let a concept rest for the time being. Additionally, it can take some trial and error to discover which questions to ask to identify true value for a team rather than simply receiving specific facts or statistics.
A final reason why many business leaders fail at company planning is that they lack consistency. Company Plans should be reviewed in detail every 90 days for them to become ingrained enough to begin affecting people’s behaviours and decisions. We use a full-day planning session every quarter with our clients to maintain clarity over the next 90 days and reinforce long-term targets. This repetition of reviewing, discussing and adjusting is what breathes energy and clarity into the company’s overall direction. And consistent performance reviews provide the necessary feedback on whether the company’s efforts are matching the company’s ambitions.
Company Planning should be a business leader’s superpower rather than a blind spot. We hope this article compels you to see the value in company planning and reflect on whether it was more about the quality of execution than the strategy itself that led to past failures. Like many things in business, the more you do it the better you will become!
In our next blog post, we will be covering Blind Spot #2: How To Hold Employees Accountable in a Collaborative Way.
Until next time, enjoy the process!
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