Jim Collins wrote about a bus that has been quoted over and over by many, and here I go, too! His quote first appeared in his best-selling book, Good to Great, “If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.” He wrote this in 2001, so it’s stood the test of time.
More clients that we consult are moving away from budget-based planning. They have discovered just because their numbers work within their preconceived notion of what’s reasonable, does not mean they will have the necessary resources to remain relevant in the market. Continuous planning that is directly correlated to the company’s planned strategy creates the time to plan and integrate the strategy across the entire enterprise. This approach also allows for budget shifts when necessary that throws away the other notion that once a budget is established, “it can’t be changed until next year.”
To make a change of this kind requires rethinking how to get everyone on the same page of what you are trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, so many organizations operate in silos and miss out on the more innovative ideas that come their way.
To ignite this change of thinking requires more than just the right people, it also requires the right time. Here are a few blunt questions you can use to test your organization’s readiness for new ideas:
- Do you have an organization that knows how to conduct different kinds of planning, or do you use the same process for everything?
- Do you involve everyone in your organization, or is the top-line strategy reserved for those at the top?
- How do you deal with new ideas that come from the outside of your organization?
- Are they typically shot down quickly by inside executives who feel the need to protect their status quo?
These are the questions that require honest answers and corrections made to wherever and with whoever needs to make a course change. They will produce the business outcomes you are looking for when planned and implemented with openness throughout your organization.