Disrespectful or just a catchy title? Either way it must be true, because so few small and mid-sized companies do it. Why would anyone who wants to build a successful company avoid doing something that might help them succeed?
Well there are a lot of very solid reasons, or so we’re told. In fact, we’ve been told one or more of those reasons so often that I made a list of them for my last book. In the interest of thorough research, of course. And then I presented that list to leaders of companies that follow business planning best practices, and I thought the comparison might make interesting reading, so here goes:
|Why leaders say they don’t plan||Why leaders say they plan|
|Planning is a lot of work; busy managers don’t have time for still another task.||Planning actually saves work and time, by helping managers to avoid doing more work than is necessary to reach their goals.|
|Plans are obsolete as soon as they’re done. It’s no sooner done than it has to be revised.||Plans are dynamic and ever evolving as the business evolves. The best ones get reviewed and modified regularly.|
|Plans must always be long and detailed to be of any value; otherwise how would anyone know their part in the plan?||Plans need not be any more detailed than the company needs to guide its activities. Some very focused plans for small business will fit on a single page.|
|Business moves too fast to be held back by a plan. If we can’t think on our feet – and act accordingly – we’re going to be left behind.||The speed of business is a big reason why plans are important, because we can go very far off the mark in a short time. Plans don’t hold managers back; rather, they guide managers’ forward movement.|
|Planning is not as important or valuable as doing something productive. Plans don’t make things happen; people do.||Planning makes what we do more productive by enabling us to avoid doing things that don’t contribute to our productivity as measured by end results.|
|We should leave the planning to the planners and let the managers do their work.||Plans done without the substantial involvement of the managers who are making the decisions are largely useless, because they don’t reflect reality.|
Not to point fingers or accuse anyone of not being good leaders. Just presenting some contrasting thoughts for your consideration. By the way, how’s your 2021 plan coming?