I’ve often wondered at how personality traits can carry over into business. Some of our greatest personal strengths can also be some of our greatest business strengths. The sad reality, however, is that the inverse of this statement can be true as well. Some of our greatest personal weaknesses can also be some of our greatest business weaknesses.
Have you ever known one of those people who believes their failure to plan constitutes an emergency on your part? We all know them, don’t we? They’re the person whose lack of organization constantly creates mini emergencies in their life. These seem to be the type of people who thrive on drama and always need a favor to help them in a bind. We all know such people. Many of us even ARE such people. Often everything works out fine in the end and while we may ruffle a few feathers along the way, life goes on.
But what happens when we allow this lack of planning to seep into our business lives? What possible damage can we inflict upon our businesses if we allow ourselves to ignore strategic, tactical, and contingency planning?
Sure, we may have been in these situations before and found alternatives at the last minute that made everything work out just right. But remember, if necessity is the mother of invention, then desperation is the creepy uncle.
Failure to plan will lead to desperation in your business. Desperation in this economic environment is a recipe for disaster. In our current business cycle, we cannot afford to not plan. Think of the last time you went on a trip. Chances are you engaged in at least some low level planning. Perhaps you chose your destination before hand, or booked a flight and hotel. If you drove, perhaps you looked at a map or, at the very least, packed the GPS.
The important point is that you gave some thought to the road ahead. You thought through your journey and hopefully planned for some “what if” scenarios. If you are willing to put this much effort into your recreation, does it not make even more sense to put some planning effort into your business?
It’s not too late to plan out your first quarter or the entire year. Start from the top down. What is my overall strategy for the business this year? What do I need to accomplish. Once these objectives are properly identified and prioritized, you can begin to paint in some details on the tactical level and map out measurement milestones that will help you gauge your progress on your journey. Your plan should also include contingency or back up planning in the very likely event that things don’t happen exactly as you envisioned them. In this environment, there is wisdom in having a contingency plan for your contingency plan as well.
When a pilot wants to fly somewhere, he doesn’t simply hop in his plane and take off. Among the many preparatory steps is filing a flight plan. Shouldn’t your business take similar steps so that you know where you are headed and how you plan to arrive safely?
- Decision Making: How to be Better and Faster (tonyadam.com)
- How to Create a Financial Fall Back Position for Your Business (brighthub.com)