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The Business Forum Journal


The Magic of Planning

By Thomas R. Northup


Outstanding organizations are results based. They are both tactically and strategically focused. Tactical is commonplace; we can easily spend 24/7 on tactical issues.  Strategic is more difficult and needs special effort.

Strategic planning is the most important activity a leader and his team can undertake.  Effective planning focuses the team for the future.  Focus drives performance and performance drives results.  Effective planning will produce consistent results, build stability in profitability and revenue and create �unfair� competitive advantages for you.

Planning is not just for the CEO and senior team.  Planning is effective at every level of the organization.

The purpose of a plan is to generate even better results over the longer term.

Managing an organization is far more challenging today than it was even 2 or 3 decades ago. Rapidly changing technology and global competition have shortened the business cycle.  Political uncertainty drains management time.

As a result, leaders have far less time to react to changing conditions and will place themselves at a tremendous disadvantage when they focus only on the short term.

One study demonstrates the importance of planning.  Companies with equal capabilities with and without planning had vastly different results.  Those with plans had slightly fewer employees and 40% larger revenues per employee.

The clear message is without doubt � strategic planning produces competitive advantage in your marketplace.

A successful leader understands the importance of active involvement by everyone in the planning process.  He or she shares power with his management team building their personal motivation by allowing them to contribute to creating the direction of the organization.

He mentors his key people to regularly think strategically.

The benefit of such behavior is a very strong team working with mutual trust and shared accountability.

The magic of effective planning is the development of a proactive, highly successful organization where profitability and revenue increase year after year.

On a personal note:

If this article has made you think about building more effective results, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the state of your business.  Before we start I will ask you to complete three assessments that evaluate your company strategically, in leadership and personal productivity. This is your commitment to a focused high quality interchange.  There is no obligation. We will meet as long as necessary to have an in depth review. My objective is to first build a relationship. If we agree to continue working together, great, if not then my hope is that our discussion will still lead you to constructive change.

 Tom Northup

949-689-4085 Pacific Time
[email protected]

Thomas R. Northup is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and a coach, speaker and author with over 30 years running companies the last 3 as CEO. He now assists managers and executives produce the stretch results they are having trouble reaching. Tom�s work can be explored in his leadership blog, his book, The Five Hidden Mistakes CEOs Make, and his coming book, Leadership Is Not a Soft Skill. Using his unique experience, Tom gives expert insight and simple to use methods you can use to build a focused, outstanding organization to meet your vision, create sustainable growth and to develop �unfair competitive advantage.� Tom graduated with a BS in Mathematics from Bucknell University and has an MBA from Syracuse University.

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