Short term pain for long term gain. We have all heard this saying, but in this strong economy we are seeing the inverse of this saying come true right now: Short term gain for long term pain.
Why are there fewer strategic discussions taking place right now?
Right now, things are looking good. Economic indicators are positive. The stock market is setting records. Unemployment is at an historic low. All in all, business prospects look rosy.
However, because of the strong economy, many companies are forgoing strategic conversations and focusing on working “in” the business to get orders fulfilled, serve their customers and maximize revenue and profitability. The problem with this short-term decision is that it will have long-term impact.
I have interacted with several companies that have not developed a plan over the last two or three years because business is so strong. They are 100% focused on filling their customer’s orders today. But because they have not worked on consistently advancing their organization, they are now feeling the pain from a lack of strategy and talent planning.
The reality of these short-term decisions is often the company won’t feel the pain until it is too late. Too late in that they have fallen behind their competitors or don’t have enough of or the right people to fill all the orders for example.
What are the results of not planning?
I have a new client who did not invest in strategy or talent under its previous leadership. From a strategy perspective, they have had no strategic initiatives to move the company forward. From a talent standpoint, they are under developed at the middle management positions – in other words the future leaders of the organization.
The entire organization is currently feeling the pain, and everyone understands why. Their strategy and talent are so far behind their competitors that it will take years for them to catch up. It can be done, but it will take even more effort now than if they had just developed a strategy and talent plan every year.
Why should I start planning now, when things are going well?
Well, there are several good reasons:
Now is the right time to invest in your strategies and talent because you have more cash flow to do it.
Through focused strategies you can capture even greater market share and surpass your competition
Opportunities to invest in creating new revenue streams within your area of expertise.
To prepare your company to continue its momentum even when the economy does slow down.
Expanding your team which allows you more time to focus “on” the business versus “in” the business.
Do you already have a plan in place for your organization? If not, there are some simple steps you can take on your own. First define your planning team. Next, define your process, which should include:
◻︎ Three to five goals you want to accomplish in 2019
◻︎ Action plans to work “on” the business to achieve each goal. Be sure to make these action plans have an owner and completion date.
◻︎ Established measurements to monitor to ensure that your plan is working.
◻︎ One or two development action plans to enhance the performance of each team member.
◻︎ Reviewing of your action plans monthly to make sure they are getting done.
◻︎ Or you can find templates at www.stopsellingvanillaicecream.com to complete these steps yourself.
Now is not the time to pull back from planning but to invest in it. To ensure your organization experiences short and long-term gain.