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July 2016
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Everybody Hates Plans

Why do people hate plans?   Surely they are essential?  Alignment gets things done.   Or rather …. non-alignment prevents things from getting done.  Achieving the tough stuff requires full participation, everyone pulling in the same direction.  People pulling in different directions wastes energy and puts outcomes at risk.

Plans are boring !    The word ‘plan’ is uninspiring.  Plans are often too long, too complex, too boring and it can seem too difficult to reconcile everyone’s functional needs.  Getting to alignment around a single plan can seem like an impossible task.

So businesses often give up.  Or call a consultant.  Unfortunately many consultants then see this as an opportunity to gather ‘data’ and ‘advise’ clients on their business plan.  This can be a lengthy process, it can lead to loss of ownership (outsourcing of planning) and it can involve considerable expense.

My approach is different.  A business plan is a story.  This story has to be clear, concise and compelling – and understandable by real people (customers, investors).  If we have a story then we can use data (‘put the flesh on the bones’).  Without the story we have no way of evaluating the data.

A story is quick to build.  Most of the knowledge required is already in the business.  There are often also plenty of documents around – websites, collateral, spreadsheets, functional plans – there may even be a (complex, wordy, dull) business plan.   What isn’t written is available verbally – with much of the narrative.  Individuals are able to articulate very clearly many different aspects of business plans.

My job is to get this down to “20 pages” that can quickly and clearly sum up the complete business - its value, the opportunity and what it will take to deliver.

Have a look at the link:    HQI Strategy Delivery Support      And who I have supported:   HQI Strategy Delivery Clients

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