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The election is next week. The holidays are close behind, and 2013 is just around the corner. 

And yet many companies still don’t have a formal strategic plan on the books OR a meeting scheduled to create a strategic plan and align their team.

Sadly, as the executives of these companies try to navigate uncertain times they will wonder:

  • Why aren’t we hitting our goals?
  • Why do I struggle to get my team on the same page?
  • Why can’t our people execute without having to be followed up with at every turn?
  • Why do we always seem to be firefighting…and never working on the important things?

Are you “guilty” as charged?  The answer for many of you is simple…procrastination.

That may sound harsh but I know that all of you who have been reading my posts have seen plenty of material on planning and alignment.  You have heard experts such as Jim CollinsVerne Harnish, and Michael Gerber tout the benefits of long term strategic planning and alignment.  Many of you know other successful companies who plan and execute consistently.  So there is little question that you are just putting off what you know must be done.

But perhaps there are solid reasons for your procrastination.  Here are three that come to mind – that we just may be able to resolve for you….

1. Complacency – 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 and gain market share.    In point of 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 insure you are ready for the next disruptor in your industry but you will create a sustainable company for the future.

2. Confusion – 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. And, Kevin has offered a special discount for our community on personal planning retreats.  Just tell him Cheryl Beth sent you.

3. Prioritization – 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.

So what’s a simple way to prioritize your strategic planning process and stop procrastinating?

Commit your team to 1 day at our upcoming Four Decisions: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits workshop on November 8th. You’ll align your team around a strategic plan and be ready to surpass your goals in 2013.

Then…enjoy the holiday season relaxed with family and friends knowing you’ve taken a huge first step forward on your path to business success!



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