Business Planning is Crap

Gene Siciliano's Profile

Catchy title, eh? But it must be true, because so few small and mid-sized companies do it. Why would anyone who wants to build a successful company avoid doing something that might help them succeed? Well there are a lot of very solid reasons, or so we’re told. In fact, we’ve been told one or more of those reasons so often that I made a list of them for my last book. In the interest of thorough research, of course. And then I presented that list to leaders of companies that do follow business planning best practices, and I thought the comparison might be interesting, so here goes:

Why leaders say they don’t plan

Why leaders say they plan

Planning is a lot of work; busy managers don’t have time for still another task.

Planning actually saves work and time, by helping managers to avoid doing more work than is necessary to reach their goals.

Plans are obsolete as soon as they’re done. It’s no sooner done than it has to be revised.

Plans are dynamic and ever evolving as the business evolves. The best ones get reviewed and modified regularly.

Plans must always be long and detailed to be of any value; otherwise how would anyone know their part in the plan?

Plans need not be any more detailed than the company needs to guide its activities. Some very focused plans for small business will fit on a single page.

Business moves too fast to be held back by a plan. If we can’t think on our feet – and act accordingly – we’re going to be left behind.

The speed of business is a big reason why plans are important, because we can go very far off the mark in a short time. Plans don’t hold managers back; rather, they guide managers’ forward movement.

Planning is not as important or valuable as doing something productive. Plans don’t make things happen; people do.

Planning makes what we do more productive by enabling us to avoid doing things that don’t contribute to our productivity as measured by end results.

We should leave the planning to the planners and let the managers do their work.

Plans done without the substantial involvement of the managers who are making the decisions are largely useless, because they don’t reflect reality.

 

Not to point fingers or accuse anyone of not being good leaders. Just presenting some contrasting thoughts for your consideration. By the way, how’s your plan 2021 coming?