Posted By Don Clouser, Chairman of the Board, Thursday, September 12, 2019
How often have you been asked to follow but were not told where you were going? It was probably exciting as a child but more concerning as we grew older. Put yourself in those shoes again. Do you know where you are going? Do your people know where your organization is going? Do you know where your organization is going?
So often on our journeys or in our daily tasks, we concentrate on the step we are about to take and then the next one. This is often to make sure we get that step right because the next one may be off if we don’t. However, the best way to make sure you are on the right path is to look up and make sure your destination is in front of you. But have you identified your destination? Have you thought out the best way to get there?
Planning and budgeting season is probably getting started for many of us. This is usually a painful time as we are taken away from the daily tasks that need our immediate attention to spend time on the future that may or may not happen. However, if you don’t set a destination and look up once in a while, how do you know you are going to get there?
I encourage you to give a respectful amount of time to this activity. While it is not expected to be perfect, a budget does give you some guidelines and expectations for what is planned. It can help identify early if a plan is not moving in the right direction. It creates the need for discussion. Maybe there is a very legitimate reason the budget is going the way it has. But let’s make sure everyone understands that so we can deal with it as a team.
Strategic planning is another way to help guide your destiny. We all have a plateful of problems to work on, but they all cannot be worked on at once. So how does your team determine the priority? How do you pare everything down to what would be most impactful? And what are you going to do about it? Once again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
We often feel good once we make these plans. It is a sense of accomplishment as well as a sense of security that we are in control. However, daily or unexpected tasks often take us away from our plans. Incorporating a status schedule in your plans will help keep you on track and will help you notice those disruptors to the plan sooner.
Finally, do not assume that the people who created the budgets and plans are the only ones interested. Remember how you feel being asked to follow but being told where you are going? Make sure all your people in your organization understand where you want to go and how you intend to get there. They can add horsepower to the efforts as well as understand why certain decisions are being made. I hope you have continued success on your journey.