I’m increasingly convinced that for the vast majority of businesses, planning is a waste of resources – time, money and effort.
Very few companies actually have the ability to take the plan and force change, the type of change most business plans indicate. Instead they go through the motions
Without this, you might as well write a strategy which starts with general platitudes :-
“We’re going to be innovative, be efficient, be agile, focus on core, create a strong culture, create shareholder value, and establish ourselves in [XYZ]“
Where [XYZ] is fundamentally what everyone else is doing i.e. replace with whatever is popular amongst competitors at the time in hand and hence currently reported in the popular management press – HBR, Economist etc.
What these business actually do is driven by their momentum or business inertia. They actively resist change, making the whole planning exercise nothing more than a compliance exercise. You know what I mean, the type of excise where you hear the words
“here’s a one I did earlier”, or ” lets dust off the plan we wrote before”
If your business is like that, then save yourself the angst and don’t bother… focus your business on the momentum and stop burning through your human capital. Sure, eventually you’ll go bust but hey. If you don’t implement the change needed, you will anyway.
Only 71 companies remain today from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list. Jim Collins, Built to last
But that’s not politically sustainable is it, its too fatalistic, you have to at least try right??
Well here’s the thing, true change requires big calls, rigid enforcement, investment and new stuff - processes, people, methods and possibly, products…
In other words, hard stuff.
When I look at the great companies of today, they do the hard stuff. They kill off good ideas for great ones, they tell their shareholders
where to go, they get into the predictable disruptions and live with canabalisation, they embrace new business models rather than protect
the old, they change their business.
As an aside, we all know CEO pay has risen drastically
, but they aren’t delivering the results. Interesting in the sharing economy that people aren’t tracking more correlation there. I would also suggest that as shareholders, if you are holding for a long time and you keep hearing the same story at the AGM, maybe you should look at the leadership, because they aren’t implementing the change..they are dusting off the same plan and not delivering it…going with momentum rather than doing the hard stuff.