Going into 2011, it’s an unusually prophetic business strategy planner who could have foreseen everything this year has brought to the table. The scale of the European debt crisis that is still sweeping throughout Europe, the extent of the Arab Spring which is still toppling dictators throughout the middle east, not to mention major events in the Far East such as the damaged Japanese nuclear reactor. Any business strategy plan and we move towards 2012 thus has to be able to adapt to the new, significant and unexpected circumstances facing the markets.
No business strategy plan ever works in a vacuum. Local events and the unexpected happening in far off markets combine to exert strong forces for change. Even distant circumstances seem to connect back to the bottom line – Chinese growth affecting our raw and prefabricated material prices, Libyan oil supply shifts affecting our petrol prices, unseasonably cold weather in Chile and Argentina impacting our food costs. Your company’s business strategy plan therefore needs to be ready to bend to the winds of change and still keep operations running smoothly.
Looking at things honestly, ask yourself, “how’s it going?” Does your 2011 business strategy plan even remotely relate to your current day to day operations? Where is it still providing you with the right guidance, and where has it already been given up for dead?
Wellmeadow have discussed the need for regular strategy reviews “Don’t Neglect Regular Reviews” in this space before, but even frequent updates may not be enough to salvage a truly rigid business strategy plan that’s incapable of changing with the times. It can be as simple as having based your whole business strategy plan on certain market movements, price points, or regulatory actions that don’t go out as planned. With the wrong foundation, the whole programme comes crashing to a halt, and the carefully planned strategy gets abandoned for reactive and impulsive decisions.
You don’t have to operate the kind of environment at risk of barely-controlled-chaos. No, instead you can have a business strategy plan that is capable of adapting to even the most outrageous international changes. It starts with making time for the “what ifs” in your original business strategy planning sessions, and anchors around not carving your operational expectations into stone.
Your business needs leadership and guidance, but it doesn’t need a business strategy plan that acts as a dead-weight when you’re sailing into choppy water. If your current plan isn’t helping or providing a flexible backbone for your business, reach out to Wellmeadow. We have the skills to develop a business strategy plan that will prepare you for 2012, that will help drive your business forward within these changing times.
Wellmeadow Limited is a management consultancy firm in Shropshire, providing business support to firms across the West Midlands. We provide a mix of non executive director support and interim management on a part time basis for a variety of organisations, but mainly privately owner-managed firms (especially family firms). If you would like to chat over a business challenge you are facing for no fee, then we would be happy to speak to you and give you some advice on a no obligation basis. We understand that a decision to work with a firm like us will not be taken lightly, and may seem quite daunting. It’s like recruiting a new director. Have a look at the about us page for some more information on how we work.