Just because it’s common sense, doesn’t mean it’s common practice!
The Business Planning Process is at the core of all business. Or is it?
Commonly, substitutes exist. Lists of prioritised action plans, documented reorganisations or a set of goals or highly-organised budgeted figures have been interpreted and submitted as Business Plans.
What has been missing is a commitment to a contextualisation process to which decisions may align, and will support the ‘red thread’ connectivity throughout the entire plan.
Common sense tells any intrepid traveller a plan will map out the way forward. Perhaps this may be where the confusion lies. A map will only be useful if we contextualise where we are standing right now, in relation to come where we have come from. The map will also help us ascertain which paths helped us to get to where we are now, and which we may never need to use again, given that they did not contribute to our destination.
So too, any successful business leader needs to be connected to the past. Taking a snapshot of where he’s been, what has happened in the past whilst incorporating beliefs of the future will help decide what to bring into the future and what to leave behind.
Has the intrepid traveller ever inquired as to the reason he is walking that path at all? Has he ever formalised which part of the map he wishes to ‘explore and conquer’?
So too, any successful business leader reflects on the reason for doing business, along with the business battle field and weapons to use.
This essential contextualisation process of any business plan, and the subsequent connection of its meaning into the forward action can often be judged as irrelevant, unimportant, as that itself will not produce the revenues!
So what sort of leader will see great value in the contextualisation element of a business plan?
- One who is connected! Connected, aware and present with the world around, the people around, the change happening around!
- One who believes that there is no right or wrong decision, yet forges business-promoting decisions upon past, present and beliefs for the future.
- One who doesn’t have the answers, yet knows the questions to ask, and is willing to gain input from those closest and those furthest from the issue.
- One who constantly pushes the boundaries, who takes insights and reflections from the changing world around
- One who is interested in sustainable results, and not the ‘quick buck’ rule
- One who may even look at the money as an enabler to find meaning! In this chaotic world, how much value can common sense add to a Business Plan?
Debbie Nicol, Managing Director of Dubai-based ‘business en motion‘, and creator and author of the ‘embers of the world‘ series, is passionate about change. She works with both traditional and contemporary toolkits that move businesses and executive leaders ahead, whilst working on leader and organizational development, strategic change and corporate cultures.