Why I hate beautiful white binders
but what I do have is a serious aversion to seeing them arrayed with pride in company premises hiding as they do a multitude of business plans and strategic reviews.
Aspirant entrepreneurs set off business with ambition, drive, passion and determination – And they do the right thing by writing down a plan, creating an often very worthy piece of work that reflects all the enthusiasm and passion they have for their goal whatever that may be (sometimes the need for additional resource may have been the stimulus and a fabulous document subsequently resulted in the desired Capital being forthcoming) but whatever the motivation, the saddest thing is that these plans are then consigned to history, and for some strange reason more often than not, stored in beautiful white binders! Binders that grace the shelves of the CEO’s office.
And I hate them with a passion! Why? Simple!
Open them, blow the dust off, realise their potential and appreciate the time and effort taken and then…
Dare to ask the outcome and the sheepish answer is without exception a variant of “We’ve never had the time to implement it! We’ve just been too busy!”
Yet there was time aplenty to write the plan. Ask why the plan was written and there will be a detailed explanation, a clear and succinct summary setting out what was wrong, what needed attention or whatever.
It’s almost Jeckyl and Hyde. Pride in the document yet shame in the lack of deployment.
It often surprises people to learn that the failure of businesses can, more often than not be ascribed to a very few primary causes. And a lack of direction is one of them. A plan provides that direction, it motivates the team and provides the glue keeping everything together! No plan and the organisation blunders forward staggering from crisis to crisis.
Show me a successful company and I’ll show you a CEO that developed his strategy, embedded it in the business and drove things forward by sticking to his plan! He didn’t allow the business to drift off course and kept his people motivated and focused on achieving his goal.
In short, his plan became a living breathing practise and procedure – Not just another beautiful white binder.
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