Lack of Planning = Lack of Results
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
This is the perfect time of year to establish and plan your strategies to meet your end of year goals in 2018. There are a number of common talking points or recommendations, such as The 5 P’s of Success: “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”, or “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” These are both short, easy to remember great reminders as to the dangers caused by a lack of planning.
Proper planning translates to mean that to successfully execute your plans, it should include the necessary education, tools, etc. It is not just about “planning”, but effective planning to assure positive results
Without specific goals you just have dreams – and dreams are wonderful and very necessary but in order to transform them into reality you need to have a plan in place. And to be specific, having a strategic plan becomes even more valuable. A definition of strategic planning is “an organization’s (or firm’s) process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this.”
Your plan should include exactly what you want to accomplish, who you need to have on your team and the budget you will need to make it happen. This is the time for specifics so that nothing is overlooked.
And if you have a team, definitely get them involved. Having the members of your team actively involved in the planning process makes it more likely that they will fully commit to the success of the plan. They become an integral part of the success that you are seeking – they have a “stake” in the success of the business and you want to be sure they understand that the success of the business means there will be increased opportunities for everyone on the team.
By planning ahead you will be prepared for possible challenges by doing a SWOT analysis. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your company (these are the internal attributes of your team and your business) as well as the opportunities and threats (these are the external conditions that will help or challenge the success of your business).
Several definitions of “plan” include a “detailed proposal for doing or achieving something”, “decide on and arrange in advance”. Planning refers to an action or process that is proactive rather than reactive. Consequently planning allows your firm to better anticipate and prepare for possible variables that can occur.
And finally, having a strategic plan gives you and your team a benchmark to assess your firm’s performance as you should have included ways to measure and document the performance of your firm – otherwise how will you know the firm will have reached the success for which you were aiming?
Failing to plan increases the chance of failing to reach your goals, and often ends up being more costly – both in time and money. So ask yourself if the effort involved in establishing a plan will be worth the positive results you could be enjoying next year at this time.