Thursday, August 11, 2005

Don't Overplan: More good news on strategic planning

Here's another interesting take on strategic planning, to go with the post below this one.

While many entrepreneurs feel intimidated by strategic planning, it doesn't have to be so tough. It's thoughtful consideration of the future of your business, that's all: where do you want to go, and how do you get there?

Verne Harnish, U.S.-based founder and CEO of Gazelles Inc., offers a recipe for a one-page strategic plan. On a single sheet, he says, the owner of a growing business must be able to answer just two questions:

1. In a single measure (revenue, number of closings, active communities, revenue per employee, etc.), where do I want the business to be 10 years from now?

2. What is the most important thing the company must accomplish during the next 90 days?
“If an owner can’t answer the first question, it will be impossible to make the 100-plus other decisions that are required day to day,” Harnish says.

“Secondly, don’t over-plan; do what is most urgent. Because of the pace of change today, the world will be different in 90 days. Stay true to the long vision, but lead in the now.”

In bigger companies, he urges business leaders to "cascade" this same 90-day planning approach to every department in the company so that every individual focuses on “today’s brutal reality, not what’s to come.”

Click here to see more.

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