Author David Hugo Hargreaves Growth Guru at Charterhouse: A family man and walker of the family dogs
Planning is the platform on which you and your teams creativity and innovation can blossom and shine. And that’s just one of the benefits of planning…
1.Planning: Helping you and your team to spot opportunities
A great planning system, and planning calendar, forces you to step off the hamster wheel once in a while and get your head up. You will always hear us say, stop being a hamster and start being a Meerkat! This will help you to check your progress to date – what’s worked well, what hasn’t, what lessons can be learned, where next. It provides space and time to think – about what you want to happen, what might get in the way, how you can get round any obstacles. It opens you up to opportunities, that you might otherwise miss.
2. Planning: Brings individuals and teams together and breaks down silos
All too often, specialist teams, or individuals within a business, even a small one like yours, can get lost in their own little world. They aren’t able to see the value that others bring to the business, or the challenges others face to get things done.
Regular planning creates the opportunity to bring people together from different areas of the business, to review the way work is done from the customer’s perspective and make plans based on what is best for the business.
3. Planning: Creates a safe environment for new and creative ideas
Meet ‘that’s not the way we do things round here’ – first cousin to, ‘we tried that before, and it didn’t work’.
It’s this type of statement that will prevent the flow of ideas in your business, and even your best people will not put their creative heads above the parapet if they know they’ll be shot down in flames.
Your Planning system offers a structured way to talk openly about the challenges facing your business, and ask for new and creative solutions to overcome them.
4. Planning: Gives everyone the chance to contribute
How motivating and exciting to be part of something that is growing and achieving success, thanks in part, to your contribution.
Involve your team in your planning, and you involve them in your Vision for the future – you give them the opportunity to create it.
How much more engaged do you think they will be? How much more ownership do you think they will take?
5. Planning: Exposes your blind spots
We all have them. We can all be blind to our own strengths and weaknesses, to our innate prejudices, to other people’s talents and the value they add; and often we need others to shine a light on our blind spots.
It’s the same in business – we all see things from our own view-point, and benefit enormously from understanding how others see things. Planning gives us a framework for this.
Business Planning: Puts the customer first…Life planning puts you first. Business planning puts the customer first, and ensures that the focus is on what’s best for the customer, building trust and ensuring that everyone is focused on what really matters. You need to do both or you just become a slave to your customers…
6. Planning: Keeps your value proposition relevant
It’s your customers who decide whether your products are relevant to them or not, and it’s your planning system that will ensure that you check in with them. Checking that you review your value proposition and you can look for more innovative and effective ways to meet your clients needs and satisfy their wants.
7. Planning: Builds a strong and robust management team
Your team is your most valuable asset in your enterprise and regular planning, focused on the business as a whole, brings the management team closer, and helps them to see the value – skills, experience and expertise – that they each bring to the party. It’s also an excellent way of developing each member, teaching them to focus on the plan, the strategy and end goal.
8. Planning: Determines priorities
Your planning system is a key element in your continuous improvement cycle:
Plan – Implement – Review – Plan.
You start the planning exercise by looking at what’s possible, and by the end it’s all about results.
You then understand your long-term goals and you and the team have plotted your course to get there. Together you’ve agreed your priorities, you’ve decided on your 90/180/365 day goals, you have your action plan, you know your first and each subsequent step. It’s defined, almost ‘simple’ and it’s logical, and it’s all about getting the right things done.
9. Planning: Builds ownership and accountability
Any effective plan assigns the who as well as the what, where, how and when. It gives everyone in your team ownership for their own segment of the business – their role, their goal, their action plan.
Ownership and accountability are the key differentiators between a regular team, and a high performing team. Your plan will drive this.
Do one thing: start planning this week for a successful business.
Author David Hugo Hargreaves the Growth Guru at Charterhouse.