John Mullins and Randy Komisar’s excellent book “Getting to Plan B” invites us to import ideas from other sectors to enhance our business planning. They explain how this can drive iterations of a business plan to reduce the risk of failure.
Planners deploy an effective “spirit” for creativity, systematic segmentation, risk assessment and due diligence before gaining board approval. They consult widely in and beyond the organisation. The organisation structure, its processes, skills, channels to market and suppliers will have been reassessed. If the plan is radical, then the level of change will be also.
Activation of the plan is passed from the planners, to the builders and then to the implementers, like a baton in a relay race. For successful implementation of the plan, the baton must retain the planners’ “spirit”.
Two separate competencies are required and need to be practiced: the hand-over and the ability to move quicker than your opponent. The baton can be dropped, if you or others:
- Fail to invest in detailed due diligence;
- Assume that everyone involved is “addressable” in the same way;
- Neglect the impact of “new entrants” who may radically affect the outcome of the race.
With the right level of detailed analysis, planning, and action, leaders can accelerate successful cultural change in a limited timescale; it is a myth that successful change needs to take years. If your segmentation strengthens communication, individual relationships and personal motivation then results are fast and stable.
Sometimes you do not need to look outside your organisation for best practice; it just needs to be passed around.
My point is simple. If “Getting to Plan B” helps you generate a new plan, don’t throw it away. As a leader, make sure that the “spirit” generated by the planning is the same “spirit” deployed in its implementation.
To be continued, with a real life example…