Goodbye 'normal,' it's been nice knowing you


 

Perhaps 2022 hasn’t started with the clear run we’d hoped for. But success and stability are ahead…

We just have to keep moving forward steadily, one step at a time.

 

By Michael Mekhitarian

Keep an eye on the road ahead


I’m a big fan of strategic planning. I always have been, because, afterall, if you don’t have an eye on the road ahead, then how will you know where you are going?

The problem right now is that planning ahead seems kinda sorta futile. It has for quite awhile. It’s not, but we do need to flip traditional-type planning on its head.

The pandemic has taught us that life as we know it can change in an instant.

This has resulted in a big change in my thinking too, if I’m honest, and how we should approach these challenging times.

With the latest variant of Covid-19, Omicron, running rampant throughout the country, the government shifting it’s pandemic management strategy, the states opening up etc etc, we’re facing issues we didn’t necessarily see coming.

Small business innovation in Asia

Strategic Planning vs Contingency Planning


This is no surprise, it’s the nature of the pandemic. And we’ve been talking for quite awhile about the need for businesses to be adaptable and flexible, to be able to pivot… But I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that right now, and definitely for the foreseeable future, we need to further … We need to stop strategic planning, and start prioritising contingency planning.

Why? Well, over the past two years we’ve become good at being nimble and responsive and that’s certainly been necessary for business survival in this time of incredible disruption.

But to some degree we’ve just been doing the “cha cha” and not really making any strides forward.

To actually move forward, businesses will need to reconsider strategic planning, and create contingency plans which mean they’re prepared for a range of potential scenarios, both positive and negative.

And the start of the calendar year is a great time to plan.

So take some time and look at your business, look at your goals and consider whether they’ve changed, or are still valid.

Now, think about how you had intended to get where you’re going and start to ask “what if?

Contingency planning requires brainstorming and research, along with some creative thinking.

Similar to risk planning, it requires identifying key risks. However, it goes further and looks at a range of potential future scenarios. Then it combines the two.

Once you have identified risks and potential scenarios try to narrow them down to the most likely, and the broad impact they could have on the business if they were to occur.

Rank them in terms of importance and then take time to consider what plans you’ll put in place. Get detailed and be specific.

When you’re satisfied with the plan, make sure you don’t just save it to the hard drive. Make time to look at it every now and again. Encourage your people to get involved – good ideas and solutions can come from anywhere.

Planning and Strategy

You need Plan B … and maybe even Plan C and D too


Most of us simply create Plan A, and then we hope everything will go according to plan. Historically, that’s been a reasonably safe bet. But that’s no longer the kind of world we’re living in, or doing business in … Everything is changing, and changing pretty quickly.

And until we can see the horizon more clearly, it’s best to be prepared.

Recovery is not going to be a race either…. Move ahead steadily, slowly but surely.

Success and stability are coming – it’s just not easy to predict when.

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