Friday, April 18, 2008

"When Things Settle Down"

The Maver Management Group helps a lot of senior executives and companies reach their personal and business goals through business acceleration plans. Did you know that over 2/3rds of companies don’t have a written strategic business plan? Sure they have short term activity plans or projects that are being implemented. They may even have a set of targets that will cover the next quarter. But they don’t have a long term plan that will deliver their vision goals and successes.

Why not?

Many times I hear “We know this is really important and we want to give it quality thinking and time. We will get to it when things settle down.”

This isn’t just procrastination. It isn’t putting off to tomorrow what you could do today. It’s more putting off to tomorrow what you should do today. Would you care to guess when things are going to settle down? Right! They never settle down.

In my first general management assignment at Procter & Gamble, it entailed responsibility for two sales national sales forces. I had no specific sales management experience so I planned to take the Xerox course on selling when things settled down.

I told this to one of the company executives and he gave me some excellent advice. He said “what would happen to your division if you were sick all next week? Would it continue to run?”

I humbly said “Sure.”

He said “Then go be sick next week and take the course. The business and you will be healthier.”

I did and it was.

We find without exception with our clients that once the strategic planning process has begun it is the most satisfying work that the executive teams do. It is thinking time and those are treasured times. They hardly exist anymore.

There is another part of this. It is getting the help that is needed to actually make the planning happen and happen well. We all have been part of strategy sessions that were not well led and therefore didn’t accomplish what was expected.

Like most aspects of the senior executive’s responsibility, if something is going to happen that is positive, it is generally going to have to be with a conscious effort from that executive.

Things are never going to settle down so make the decision today to do what is right and get started with some help on your strategic planning. Not only will you have a greater success in reaching your goals, you will find that both you and your team will get greater satisfaction from actually working on the big issues and not just fire fighting.


John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

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