Hope Is Not a Plan

Imagine if I set sail from Long Island out into the North Atlantic and just “hoped” to get to any Caribbean island in two weeks without a Passage Plan.  You only get one shot at doing it right out there.  Domino’s doesn’t deliver in the North Atlantic and there are no mechanics in the ocean to fix a boat that wasn’t properly prepared.  There are no do-overs when fighting gale-force winds on your nose.  As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.  And, hope is not a plan.  Going into the open ocean without a Passage Plan is not setting a high bar on achieving a great result.

Many management teams will prepare an annual budget based on last year’s results and think that’s all there is to Business Planning.  That’s like “hoping” to just “make budget” and “hoping” to do only at least as well as last year.  That approach does not set a high bar for identifying Business Performance Improvement Opportunities.  Without reviewing the Objectives and Strategy and rationalizing the Business Platform to the upcoming year’s Strategy, there’s no chance of uncovering new Business Performance Improvement opportunities that could be “game changers”.  As the saying goes, if you want more of the same, keep doing what you’re doing.  If you want to improve business results, you need to do more than simply updating last year’s budget.  You need to undertake a thorough Business Planning process to identify new Business Performance Improvement Opportunities, including:
  • Challenging the existing Business Objectives and Strategy;
  • Rationalizing the Business Platform to support the resulting Strategy;
  • Completing a Financial Plan based on the revised Strategy and Business Platform; and
  • Undertaking ongoing Variance Reporting to stay on track during the year.
If done properly, establishing your 2018 Business Plan could be a game changer in identifying next year’s Business Performance Improvement Opportunities.  Or, you could do more of the same and keep getting what you’re getting.  Hope is not a plan.

We’re available to facilitate customized one-day, on-site and entertaining Business Planning workshops to assist management teams to develop different elements of their business plans, e.g.,: Setting Objectives and Strategy; Operational Planning; Budgeting; Cash Requirements Forecasting; and Variance Reporting.