Action Plans Lead to Success
Have you ever wondered why many business plans fail? Do you find that your organizations fail to achieve the key priorities in your plan? You are not alone! Most leaders, if they are honest, will admit that their business planning process is failing. Do you create an annual business plan and find that your team fails to follow through? Do you achieve your financial goals but still fail to achieve the key initiatives? If you do, this is a major issue for your business and a part of the solution is a solid action plan.
Failing to Elevate Your Business
As a business coach, I find many business owners and leaders asking me, “What is the harm in failing to achieve your annual initiatives if you achieved your revenue and profit targets?” If you have well-developed key initiatives, they will address the most critical weaknesses, problems and challenges facing your business. By achieving financial targets without addressing these issues, you have essentially failed to elevate your business to a higher level. In other words, you have unintentionally compromised future growth for the present. If you look at your annual initiatives, you often will find that as you address them, they have minimal effect on current year numbers but can have significant impact on future numbers.
Action Plans Will Keep You On Track
After conducting well over a thousand business planning sessions and reviewing results with leadership teams, a common thread between successes and failures revolves around the action plan. I have found there has been a 90% failure rate in achieving a priority for companies without an action plan versus a 75% success rate for companies with one. In the cases where there was an action plan but failure to complete the initiative, businesses made substantial progress on the priority.
The following are reasons why action plans are critical to your success. They:
- Create a framework for accountability
- Clarify responsibility
- Help identify obstacles to success
- Crystalize and align agreement around the path to getting things done
- Provide deadlines
- Foster commitment
- Develop mechanisms to warn you when you are off course
How Committed Are You?
Is your business plan a decision but not a commitment? Most leaders will agree that they always get done what they are committed to. On a daily and weekly basis you deal with pressing issues, and you stay committed to addressing them. In my experience as a business coach, I do not see that same level of commitment to business plans. I believe the main obstacle is immediate versus long-term gratification. We can feel the immediate gratification of solving a pressing issue but can’t with working hard to address a long-term problem. However, by addressing the long term problem your benefits become much greater.
Consider a Business Coach
The Four Decisions Process can help simplify this whole process for you. We can maximize your team’s success. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how Business Coaching can help your organization, or check out the testimonials page for stories from other leaders we have coached.
Call Howard Shore for a FREE consultation at (305) 722-7213 to see how an executive business coach can help you run a more effective business or become a more effective leader.