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Five Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Growth Plan

The virtues of planning probably don’t need to be underlined. Not having a plan may be great when going on an adventure but usually doesn’t end well in the business world.

It is therefore surprising to realise that so many plans fail, but it is not preordained.

To increase the likelihood of a plan succeeding you need to:

1.      Start with the Why – if you have not seen Simon Sinek’s TED talk on this, do. Creating a plan without a solid motivation, reasoning and an ultimate goal is akin to not having a plan at all. How can you have a plan without knowing what you want to achieve?

2.      Values matter – Since a plan is a practical matter, organisations oftentimes forget to take a look in the mirror and figure out who they are, and what matters most to them. This leads to goals that are disconnected from values (the Be-Do gap), and to team members being unhappy and uncommitted. Figure out the team’s core values before setting off to create the plan and make sure that your actions are in line with them.

3.      Reset your GPS – even if you know your final destination (see point 1 above) it is impossible to chart a course to arrive there without figuring out where you are now.

4.      Focus on the 80:20 – There is a tendency to try to achieve a lot in a short period of time in order to move fast, but there are only so many hours in a day, and other urgent tasks to deal with. Select the few actions that will have the greatest impact on the business in the next year, and leave the rest for later.

5.      Execution – this is the main cause for failure for many plans. Even if all the above is done well, if you don’t break everything down to bite-size action items, with accountabilities and deadlines, and you don’t monitor it on a weekly basis pretty soon it will all end up in a drawer.

Why waste time creating a plan that wouldn’t work?


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