Why You Need Two Plan Bs
Business change is constant - that’s a given. Strategic planning and goal setting must also change with every curve the fickle finger of fate throws at your organization. Then, of course, in order to meet the challenges of change, your executive team and management staff must all be on the same page in order to effectively drive the change throughout the organization and meet your goals.
Recently I had the privilege of working with a small community bank whose executive team had worked diligently to make and begin implementing a two-year strategic plan. A monetary goal is set, and the mission statement is in place and it reflects their goal of helping those with banking needs who reside in their state. Like any consultant worth his/her salt, I set about launching a survey to see if everyone was on the same page with this mission and the monetary goal. When respondents would complete the survey, I then set up an interview with them to dig deeper into their answers.
Some people held with the state idea. One person suggested that just a couple of strategic acquisitions would get them to their goal and Bam! They will have completed the mission. Others thought, that a tristate business model is what they need to reach the goal. Still another team member thought that even if they do reach the monetary target, they would need to go national to sustain it and to grow beyond that. Yet another team member thinks the bank should go global. What’s the point?
First, clearly the team is not on the same page with how the bank should pursue their goal and ideas for future growth. The best way to determine such situations is thru conducting anonymous polls, preferably by a third party. This team will need to determine the plan to reach their goal in order for everyone to be on the same page. Otherwise, the business plan may suffer a disappointing failure.
Secondly, speaking of failure, if the plan does prove to be unattainable currently or within their allotted time frame, what is plan B? Coming up with a plan B doesn’t intimate that the team expects to fail. Rather, if it becomes clear the goal will need an extra boost or if the plan needs tweaking, then the team can hit the ground running to get back on track quickly and save the day.
Thirdly, what if they do reach their goal? Do they just sit back, put their feet up on the board table, and coast along? Well that’s one strategy. However, there’s an old saying, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Growth comes in many shapes and sizes. For the team to have some idea in place about what should happen once achieving the goal becomes a reality, again, they can hit the ground running with that plan B.
These are the ideas behind having two plan Bs. The objective is for any organization to keep from losing ground, customers, and revenue regardless of a lose or win situation. Having two plan Bs can help to set things straight quickly if an anomaly occurs, such as the death of the CEO, a crashing economy, or some unexpected legal situation rears its ugly head. If your organization has no plan B or just one plan B, clearly you have some catching up to do. Happy planning!
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