I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited about the future at this time of year.
For most companies, this is that time of year when dreams are made and plans are laid.
Winston Churchill was right when he said “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
The problem with plans is that they are obsolete almost the moment they are put into action.
The truth is, unless they are constantly adjusted as we go, business plans can have little relevance to what is happening in the moment. And, in our effort to control the future, we can commit to a plan in a way that blinds us to the present opportunity and kills potential.
As for dreams, I agree with Colin Powell who said, “Dreams don’t become a reality through magic.It takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
So, instead of wishing on a dream or relying on a rigid plan, do the following instead:
1. Cast your dreams of the future within a clear and concise vision and mission statement that tells a story and inspires your team.
2. Decide on 3 or 4 business directives to focus on how to get where you want to be and the guiding principles to get there.
3. Each quarter choose your campaigns and chart your course of actions in the direction you want be in 90 days.
4. Measure your progress each week and make adjustments as you go.
If your team is in the same location, use a whiteboard and create the following columns using the 7 Ds: Directives, iDeas, toDo, Doing, Done, Defer, Delete.
Once your board is set up, assign action items with your team and move from left to right, producing the desired results. If your team is not local, there are a number of excellent systems like Asana and Monday that will easily replicate this process within a digital format.
Think of your business plan like a journey over time, measured in weeks, moving forward in a quarterly direction, powered by detailed actions that produce desired results to move your business where your dreams and the future converge.
And if you do all the above, in a year from now, you will be glad you started today.