At SRC, we just wrapped up yet another sales-and-marketing meeting, something we hold twice a year as part of our High-Involvement Planning (HIP) process. The whole thing blew me away.
Not only was I amazed at how much information we can generate about our business through this process, I was also struck by how good our folks have become at presenting and articulating the reality of their businesses.
That was brought home to me when a member of our board of directors made a telling comment about our planning process. He told us that in his career working for one of the largest OEMs in our industry, he had sit through countless business reports and sales presentations, most of which he said could be described as fairytale planning, “that always began with ‘Once upon a time…’ and ended with ‘Happily ever after,’” he said. “But here, you guys are all about sharing reality. Whether your numbers are up or down, you understand what you need to do differently tomorrow to change those numbers for the better. There are no fairytales coming from this group.”
Now in this case, the numbers at SRC have never been better, which leads us to joke that presentations are always great when the numbers are good. But the truth is that when we make these presentations and forecasts, we’re making ourselves accountable to our peers. We know that we want to be as accurate as possible because, even if the numbers are down, people will step up to support us and turn them around. That’s the secret sauce of the HIP process if you do it right and don’t just go through the motions.
What happened the last time your team held a planning session? Did it end with “happily ever after?” or did you find a way to talk about reality? Want to learn how High-Involvement Planning increases growth in a company? Check out one of our High-Involvement Planning workshops.