Nice post today from Strategic Sense, a simple, easy-to-follow four-step suggestion for getting planning into your business. Author Patti Dragland offers “4 ways to ensure you are managing the balancing act between planning and acting:”
- Define the Stakeholders.
She points out that there can be different stakeholders for different situations. I think of owners and employees, but she adds other departments; a good point.
- Build Your Scenarios. You might think its a step worth skipping, however, without a clear imagined idea of the impact and response you will receive from each and every stakeholder, change management of the restructure may prove disastrous. A great leader understands the effects of change and is prepared to deal with any and all possibilities in advance.
- Build the Plan. You now have a good idea what to expect from each and every stakeholder so begin to build your plan. Keep in mind the scenarios you deem acceptable and those which are not. Ensure your plan is detailed, that it can be clearly understood by everyone and it contains not only your objective, owner and final date, but the steps to get there and from whom you’ll need help along the way.
Of course I like how much this sounds like what I’ve been saying, a lot recently, in this blog and with my Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan work
- Take Action. A plan is simply a plan until you have taken action to make it happen! Building a plan without taking action is an exercise in futility! I would not ask my employees to build any plan if I were not willing to see it through. Steps 1 & 2 above help you decide if its worth building. At this point you’ll need pretty strong leaders to help make change happen.
I would add that you should be developing a regular plan review schedule, setting dates and attendance for plan review meetings, making this the first step towards a regular planning process. Manage your business better, with planning.