Why Business Planning Sucks

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Corporate strategy is overrated. Marketing plans? Useless. Business plans: well, they suck. William Hewlett and David Packard didn't need one. Sam Walton didn't have one. And Walt Disney. Michael Dell. Steve Jobs. Thomas Edison. And Henry Ford. And senior executives at 156 of today's most influential companies worldwide. Take that, corporate planning "strategists" (and yes, we use the term lightly). Planning, while having good intentions, doesn't work. Humans thrive when adapting to the current situation. Yes, you can plan now; but, it'll be useless: you won't know with clear certainty what'll happen in 5-50-5000 days. If you don't change when needed, you're destined for Bode-Miller-like-catastrophe.

It's in the research.

The Economist Intelligence Unit and Marakon Associates asked 156 senior executives from $1 billion companies (40% of them having more than $10 billion in sales) how decision planning affected effective business decisions. Sadly, it didn't. And even sadder: it caused more harm. Said the study: "The results of the survey confirmed what we have observed over many years of consulting: The timing and structure of strategic planning are obstacles to good decision making." Message to the MBA-trained pseudo-executives (and no, not all of you: most of you): Quit the business planning hoopla. It doesn't work. It consumes valued time. And it takes your focus off what you should be doing: Doing! We'll go more into depth in our next entry. Stay tuned, amigos. [Editor's note: Here's the article. Enjoy!]

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Posted on March 02

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