Planning And Why It’s So Important. Critical Thinking. Critical thinking is the key planning skill and planning is the foundation upon which any business – large or small – is built. If you cannot think critically, you will not be effective in any aspect of business that involves planning.
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Critical thinkers are skeptical of obvious, easy assumptions. They are conscientious and thorough. They ask many questions and ”learn the territory.” And they look for “root” causes before attempting to solve a problem.
Battle of Islandahlwana (1879)
> Someone lost most of the tools
> British couldn’t get enough ammunition quickly enough
> They were outmaneuvered and slaughtered
“The secret of genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.”
“Planning keeps you on your feet when life pulls the rug out from under them.”
All business planning begins with four questions:
These two comprise corporate DNA
which, like a star on the horizon, is an unchanging guide that determines direction
The above (which move from general to specific) can and should evolve with the changing outside environment
Harvard’s ever-eloquent Michael Porter says strategy is a unique vision and a set of complementary activities combined to create sustainable competitive advantage.
Without a unique controlling strategy, continuous improvement of operational effectiveness and efficiency produces competitive convergence, product commoditization, price erosion, and mutually assured destruction (unless one of the players is much better at it than the others)
Customers love it, but the companies eventually starve.
A broad declaration that captures, crystallizes and communicates corporate purpose in order to energize employees and distinguish the company from competitors
A VERBAL BANNER
(1) direct and motivate employees
(2) differentiate from competitors
Cisco solutions provide competitive advantage to our customers through more efficient and timely exchange of information, which in turn leads to cost savings, process efficiencies, and closer relationships with customers, prospects, business partners, suppliers and employees.
We work for you. We think of ourselves as buyers for our customers, and we apply our considerable strengths to get the best value for you. We’ve built Wal-Mart by acting on behalf of our customers, and that concept continues to propel us. We’re working hard to make our customers’ shopping easy.
We are dedicated to being the world’s best at bringing people together – giving them easy access to each other and to the information and services they want and need – anytime, anywhere.
IF YOU CAN’T SAY IT SIMPLY, DON’T BOTHER!
A BHAG is a long-term (10-30 year) goal that can be achieved only if an organization builds new, stronger capabilities. BHAGs force management to be visionary – rather than just strategic and tactical -- and force an organization to gulp for air and run faster.
“I will build a motor car for the great multitude…It will be priced so low that any man making a good salary will be able to afford it…When I’m through, everybody will have one, the horse will have disappeared from our highways, the automobile will be taken for granted, and a large number of men will be employed at good wages.”
Henry Ford when he founded Ford Motor Company
“I want twice the fuel economy of a comparable internal-combustion-engine car.”
Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda as he unexpectedly doubled the fuel-efficiency goal from a 50% improvement in the middle of the Prius development program. You can bet this BHAG caused the engineers to take a big gulp of air.
Corporate, business and functional planning all has to be tightly linked to produce unity of focus and purpose throughout the organization (Fayol).
Everyone pulling on the same rope in the same direction.
and strategies require long- and
Planning ascertains where the organization is now and envisions where it will be in the future – Where do we want to go, when will we get there, what will we look like then?
“Chance favors only the prepared mind.”
Bracketing or the “What-if” game
Q. How do you grow into a multi- national, then an international and finally a global company?
A. By balancing cost against control, risk and opportunity.
Example: Toyota’s North American operations
“Stuck in the Middle”
“The endless pursuit of perfection” Lexus