Begin with The End in Mind

We now live and do business in a world with less barriers to entry and more opportunities for disruptive plays than ever before. From startups to more traditional organisations embracing technology, planning your business approach has never been more vital.

“Begin with the end in mind” may sound like obvious advice; however, there are multiple dimensions to consider and plenty of questions to ask:

  • How do you remove current constraints from your thinking about what is possible?
  • What will the future look like when you get there?
  • When will real profit and growth happen?
  • How do you ensure your thinking can be executed?
  • Who will be accountable?
  • How do you know you are on track?
  • How do you stay on track in a dynamic business environment?
  • How do you get the team aligned?

These are all elements that must be considered to have any chance of gaining a competitive advantage and keeping it, especially with the market and environment around you changing faster than ever before. This is compounded by the fact that 90% of strategic operational plans fail in the execution stage, not the concept stage.

This discipline is so crucial to business success that I made it the first chapter in my book, Defining Your Road Map To Profit and Growth. It is especially true when taking a team-based approach to setting a strategy or operational plan.

Even if you have an unconstrained team-based strategic plan with all stakeholders aligned, there is still a 90% chance the plan will not be executed—even after considerable work! This statistic is not industry or market-specific; it is a function of attempting to bring the future desired state into a structured way of executing now and keeping that execution on track over a longer period of time, say 3 or 5 years, whilst ensuring the goals are still relevant.

This attempt to structure the future is where and how momentum gets lost, plans fail, and targets are simply missed, modified or no longer relevant.

A cohesive and holistic planning approach needs to be adopted to ensure that execution is actually part of the strategic planning approach. If this approach is applied correctly, it delivers a 95% success rate… as opposed to a 90% execution failure rate!

Is your business “beginning with the end in mind”?