What should you expect to get out of the planning process at your shop?
If your fiscal year is the calendar year, you're now busy planning and finalizing your 2015 budget and, in doing so, trying to forecast the future. As uncertain as that process may be, it may likely parallel your process of strategic planning. Both are important processes; but for now let's spend a few minutes focusing on your strategic planning.
This process is destined and purposed to improve your overall business performance. Of course that revolves around the business operations and everything that contributes to the profit and loss statement. Maybe more importantly; it dovetails into the combination of operations and the efforts of all coordinated aspects of the business. But that begs the following question: Do you have a process in place that helps you benchmark the current performance and helps identify industry best practices in relation to what you do and also what your competitors do in carrying out the routine tasks at hand.
Further, have you ever stopped the daily merry-go-round long enough to evaluate where you are today in relation to where you could be? Now, I don't write that to be critical of anything that any of you are doing or to undermine your great intentions. But vision is about seeing what could be at some point out into the future; not in a dreamy sort of way but aggressively realistic.
Leaders find ways to evaluate what is possible and also explore how ideas/plans of innovation; transformation with new ideas and application can result in company growth to embrace the company opportunity. No one likes the prospect of having the 'blinders on' so long that they miss out on seeing/learning from what the competition is up to and doing everything possible to know positively that their own core competencies are as strong as possible and delivering against the art of the possible. Then, with that strong base established, they can organized plans to leverage all the talents and strengths they've established to repeat that performance detail, all day, every day!
So where do you fit in this illustrative example? Normally speaking, everyone knows deep down that know matter how well things might be going; they could still doing better. So what's holding you back from that step of progress. We all realize that often there are true roadblocks that prevent us from just going all out, full speed ahead. But sometimes we are afraid of our own shadow as we look into the mirror of our business situation. We create our own obstacles, real or imagined, often mental blocks that stop us from taking those valuable next steps towards positive performance and defined success. Don't stop yourself; take a proactive role in strategy development; make strong plans with measurable tactics and implement the absolute strongest plan of action to achieve success. Reach for the stars and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!