Three Keys to Effective Planning: Part 3
Three planning activities can help ensure a robust, achievable plan: understanding the predictable consequences of the current state of things (and of the desired future state), identifying issues/obstacles which may impede progress on key objectives and finally, clear articulation of what needs to stop in order to clear the way for organizational priorities. Let’s take a closer look at the process of identifying those activities that need to stop.
Leadership teams involved in planning are not hesitant to identify new processes and opportunities. There is a natural excitement in taking on new initiatives. What is rarely discussed however are items that will no longer take priority or may not even belong on the “to do” list.
Sunsetting products, programs, and services is necessary to clear the way for new and better offerings. Gathering, analyzing and understanding data is a useful first step. For example, how are the current services utilized and by whom? Are our most important, significant and profitable accounts taking advantage of these?
Speaking of customers, there may be some who should be pared from our roster. And don’t overlook internal (backstage) processes and procedures that may have grown stale, outdated and no longer necessary. For example, are our meetings too numerous and not yielding the desired outcomes?
There are several helpful tools that can guide a productive discussion. The Strategic Renewal Process is an excellent way to help organize this effort. The Abandonment Matrix can also provide an effective framework for identifying things that should no longer be offered or done.
Clearing the decks by reaching consensus on what to stop doing can be cathartic for you, your leadership team and for your entire organization. For more information on getting started, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.