Expect the Plan Will Not Go As Planned
If you have made a plan and even if you are very sure of your decision-making, you should expect that the plan will not be executed as you envisioned. This is not a valid reason to avoid planning.
“Why plan if it never goes as planned?” The reason that you should plan is not to predict the future. That cannot be done with any degree of consistency. Do not expect it to happen.
The axiom that validates the benefit of planning: businesses that experience excellent results do so because they make excellent decisions. Planning is the process that creates excellent decisions and therefore excellent business results.
To produce excellent decisions, a business must have a decision-making group consisting of the right people thinking about the right issues at the right time. It must be a policy of the business that the important decisions for the business are made by this group in that way. consistently excellent business decisions are made through group decision-making. One person may be very talented and make excellent decisions, but over time it takes a group of knowledgeable people to consistently make good decisions. Moreover, this group must act together in a timely manner.
If we cannot consistently predict the future and we have to get the timing right, how can we consistently produce good decisions?
Traditionally, planning, especially long-term planning, was done over time. Plans were made and documented, often in three-ring notebooks, and typically discarded after something happened that was not considered by the plan. At the next planning session or retreat, the plan would be revised to consider the last unforeseen factor, only to have another surprise cause the planning to be ignored. This occurred because of an inability to revise the plan immediately as unforeseen events occurred.
Planning should not now be documented in three-ring notebooks, but through quick and effective communication, whether it be a spreadsheet or specialized program, that allows the plan to be reviewed and revised constantly. This is dynamic planning.
In a business where the policy is that the decision-making group makes the significant decisions, dynamic planning should be utilized so that those decisions are documented by appropriate format to all of the decision-making group as well as to all affected by the decisions. Comments on the plan and monitoring of the experience of implementing the plan should be instantly communicated to the decision-planning group through the plan format which should then revise the plan as is appropriate with that revision immediately communicated through the plan format.
An inadequate plan can be revised to be a complete and excellent plan. This occurs when the decision-making group monitors the execution of the plan and timely revises the plan as needed.
At Business Transition Consulting we help business owners institute decision-making processes that produce excellent decisions and excellent business results.