Planning is the pinnacle for any business. Without goals and plans to attain those goals, your company will struggle to grow and improve. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Management Studies stated that although businesses can find success without planning, companies with a plan grow 30 times faster than those who do not have one.
Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC) is well-known for its High-Involvement Planning™ structure. Using this structure, all SRC divisions develop their strategic plans and come together as a collective organization—involving everyone in the company, from hourly employees to management, in the planning process.
While it might seem extensive, this process proves an integral component of our open-book management structure. Over the years, educating, empowering, and engaging everyone at all levels in the business has repeatedly generated positive results.
SRC uses four types of planning that translate directly into our sustainable business success. Let’s dig deeper into each of these four key types of planning:
1. Financial Planning:
You must have a concrete financial plan for your business, but with the infinite number of ways you can develop yours, what do you do? When it comes to our financial planning, we’ve found the most substantial results after following this handful of “musts.”
The plan must:
- Have buy-in from employees at all levels of the organization.
- Be clearly communicated.
- Be rooted in reality.
- Be forward-looking.
- Be reviewed formally; you must track progress on an ongoing basis.
2. Strategic Planning:
In addition to having a solid financial outlook, your company also needs a clear strategic vision. (Again, you probably already know this—it isn’t rocket science!) We suggest doing a quick online search—you’ll find several great templates to guide you in establishing your strategic vision.
Our simple SRC guidelines to strategic planning are as follows:
- You must have a believable, predictable sales line for the strategy to work.
- You must clearly analyze and address your company’s opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses.
- You must have a clear intelligence of your competitors.
- You must have a realistic and detailed understanding of the marketplace and the economy.
3. Contingency Planning:
A sturdy business contingency plan is essential to growth and business success. After all, you need a “Plan-B” or a backup plan to launch when the unexpected happens, right?
Contingency planning makes you proactive and serves as a source of innovation and business growth in and of itself (double win!). In short, a good contingency represents a researched and vetted realistic opportunity. If disaster strikes, activate contingencies to fill a void.
4. Succession Planning:
What if your manager or an executive left suddenly? Is your organization prepared to replace a major player on your team? While “missing” them is one thing, ensuring your organization continues to grow beyond their departure is crucial to your overall success. To make sure you don’t skip more than a beat, you need to beef up your succession planning process.
Succession planning, however, needs to be more than just naming a successor for major company positions. A strong succession plan creates opportunities for both managers and succession candidates.
With a developed successor in place, managers are primed to move into new positions and pursue opportunities when those arise as well. Therefore, succession candidates must be groomed, developed, and prepared to step into a new role when the opportunity arises so that the multi-shift can happen as needed. You won’t experience that lag time trying to figure out who can take over their responsibilities and continue on your path to growth without wasting time or additional resources.
The Planning Process—
Non-negotiable to Long-term Success
Whether or not you utilize an open-book management style at your company, implementing a solid and consistent process for financial, strategic, contingency, and succession planning will create a strong foundation for your business as well as set your company up for sustainable business success. These four key planning processes mean setting your organization up for high levels of growth and success, a goal that just about every business has in common.
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- How Playing the Great Game Helps You Prepare for an Unpredictable Economy
- The "Why" Behind High-Involvement Planning™