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Planning how to plan in a rapidly changing environment

Over the course of the past year, several institutions have faced a series of challenges and changes that have necessitated a reset and repositioning of their operations to align with the rapidly evolving business environment.

One of the most significant lessons emerging from this and previous periods is that while rote-based routine planning may have been acceptable in the past, such will no longer suffice in a business environment that demands agility and adaptability. In reality, the face of planning is changing and the notion that an organization can accomplish objectives without reference to an effective planning framework is a myth.

3 Important Planning Considerations in a rapidly developing era

  1. Plan to Plan – Prioritizing planning in the current environment as a continuous process should not be overlooked. Make it an integral part of the organization’s functional process. The days of planning as an annual exercise are numbered; the traditional approach of annual planning is no longer sufficient to keep up with the dynamic business environment. Planning, viewed as an ongoing strategic activity that’s integrated into the organization's functional process, is a crucial step for making informed decisions that drive success ahead of the curve.

  2. Plan Precise – The importance of precision planning for achieving success and navigating through the ever-changing business landscape cannot be overstated. Precision planning in practice advocates for accuracy, the elimination of waste, and the highest use of resources. In effect, it is a crucial gateway to lean management and the effective deployment of scarce resources. Neglecting this crucial factor can result in adverse organizational effects. While precision planning by nature demands ongoing internal and external reviews, agility, process changes at short notice, and training and retraining as a natural element of development, don’t avoid it, as the development of a comprehensive planning framework that accounts for multiple scenarios and contingencies is key to adapting to changing business environments and achieving long-term success.

  3. Plan Pragmatic – Planning pragmatically involves developing realistic and sensible plans that utilize practical approaches as opposed to being fixated primarily on academic theories or outdated approaches. Pragmatic planning focuses on solving problems sensibly and driving development with practical workable goals. It is important to note that a plan that is not relatable to stakeholders is unlikely to be implemented effectively. Additionally, a plan that is overly complex and difficult to implement may be perceived as no plan at all. By utilizing practical approaches and keeping plans simple and relatable, organizations can ensure that their plans will be implemented effectively and efficiently. It is therefore essential to keep the plan simple and explainable so that all relevant stakeholders can understand it and participate in the process of continuous review. Remember, pragmatic planning is a key component of successful problem-solving and goal-achievement

Finally, if you're looking for a good place to initiate the planning process, begin by examining your strengths, and what you are good at. This is great for exploring market opportunities and gaining momentum. That being said, please don't shy away from taking a critical look at any internal weaknesses or external threats that could harm your strategic outlook. Most importantly, remember that your primary motivation should be people, not profit. If you plan with people in mind, profit will likely follow.

Happy Planning!

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