When we ask business owners, “Do you have an operating plan?” they almost always say yes. But what most of them have is not an operating plan, it's a budget.
Budgeting is as far as a lot of business leaders go toward planning for the coming twelve to eighteen months.
Generally, we get better results by saying, "Give us a day or so to move freely around your business and ask two questions of your people. Then we'll come back and tell you what we learned about your operating plan."
If your employees answers tend to line up, you can tell us if their answers align with your answers to the same questions. If so, you're golden. If not — if your employees' answers don't line up with your intentions for the company — then we talk about how to develop clear, specific, workable plans that encompass everyone from the reception desk to the loading dock.
In a short time, we can help you align your team and create a playbook — including responsibilities, authorities, and feedback loops — that will be accurate and effective for guiding decision making and action at every level of your company for at least 18 months.