I’ve recently been working on business planning with a new client – a fair sized manufacturing business.
The amount of detailed planning for manufacturing their products is impressive. Even with my old auditors hat on, I couldn’t see that anything was left to chance.
But, and here’s the rub, they were not planning what the wanted to achieve at a business level! Where did they want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years? What direction should the business be going in, and what did they want to get for everyone’s hard work?
It reminded me of a lesson I got many years ago from my competition sailing days: Always have at least one crew member with their head out of the boat looking at where we were going and what was around us. We almost hit another boat, that had right of way, and we nearly missed the turning mark because we were all concentrating on making the boat go fast.
It’s the same with your company. When you are concentrating so hard on the day to day, improving productivity, it’s easy to get distracted from the overall goal of the business. The risk is that your business will be great at doing what is not needed anymore.
If you haven’t recently reviewed your business plan, maybe it’s become ‘shelfware’, book some time out to check you’re still on track – it could be that the goalposts have moved or you’ve missed your target. If you haven’t got a plan, NOW is a good time to start making one.
“Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.”
-Sir John Harvey-Jones