Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, December is just around the corner, and 2018 will be here before we know it! Yet many companies still don’t have a formal strategic plan on the books OR at the very least a meeting scheduled before year-end to create a plan and align their team.
Sadly, as the executives of these companies try to navigate uncertain times they will wonder the following:
Why aren’t we hitting our goals?
Why aren’t we all on the same page?
Why can’t our people execute without us having to follow up at every turn?
Why do we always seem to be firefighting…and never working on the important things?
The answer is simple… procrastination. That may sound harsh but those of you who read my posts have seen plenty of material on the importance of planning and alignment. I’m sure that you’ve heard experts such as Jim Collins, Verne Harnish, and Pat Lencioni tout the benefits of long-term strategic planning and team building for business success.
Many of you know other successful companies who plan and execute consistently. So there’s very little question that you are just putting off what you know must be done.
But perhaps there are some logical reasons for your procrastination. Here are three that come to mind – that we may be able to help you resolve:
Maybe things are going well for you. Or at least they are good enough. I am sure that’s exactly what your competitors are thinking too. And I’m sure that there is no one currently strategizing on how to steal your customers, lure away your A Players and gain market share. In fact, your business is always vulnerable to others who do make time for strategic planning and can out execute what you do. This why many businesses fall into what Jim Collins calls the “Doom Loop” as outlined in his book Good to Great. Taking a proactive and competitive approach to your business will not only ensure you are ready for the next disruptor in your industry but you will create a sustainable company for the future.
Perhaps you would like to execute a strategic plan for the company but aren’t really clear about where you personally want to be in life. Maybe you’re spending too much time thinking about what you want to do in your life, and not enough about who you want to be. This problem is not uncommon among business leaders. And it is resolvable. In fact, one of our partners, Kevin Daum, has put together a fabulous manual for planning your future. You can download it for free here: kevindaum.com/future. And, Kevin has offered a special discount for our community on personal planning retreats. Just tell him Cheryl Beth sent you.
So many executives struggle with setting and focusing on the right priorities. When you are up to your rear end in alligators it’s hard to remember that your primary directive is to drain the swamp. It’s very difficult to make the transition from working IN the business to working ON the business. But one thing is for sure. If you don’t start prioritizing strategic planning you will forever be letting the business run you. The sooner you make your strategy and alignment a priority, the sooner you’ll achieve goals effectively and create efficiencies that will free up time and resources in your company.
No matter what your reason for procrastinating, there is a simple way to prioritize your strategic planning process and stop putting off the important for what’s just urgent.
With over 30 years of experience, Cheryl Beth partners with small and mid-market CEO’s and C-level executives to create more valuable and sustainable companies. She has led strategic change initiatives, provided business advisory and coaching services to hundreds of small and mid-market companies and focused on providing a return on investment to every CEO with whom she has worked. Questions about how you can scale your business? Connect with Cheryl Beth on LinkedIn and drop her a message, she’s happy to offer some guidance.