Calling Me at 9pm On Friday Night is Not a Plan For Success

I received a call from a former client at 9pm on a Friday evening. They were upset.

A major business partner had done something that drastically affected their business model.They had discussed this issue with the partner, and asked that they not do it. They did it anyway.

Problem was this action affected my former client downstream, with their entire dealer network.

And now my former client was faced with having to react to this situation and find a way to resolve while not destroying their own future economic viability with other partners.

As I listened to my former client on the phone, nothing he said was a surprise. Why, because we had discussed it, several times.

Not only was it not a surprise, but it could have been avoided.

In my initial meetings with them we had discussed the need to create a growth strategy, a Plan.We talked about it.We had discussed it at length.

Our discussions offered key recommendations and insights.

It opened a realistic look at the many challenges they faced.

We identified and discussed the many strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats they faced.

These were very serious discussions that required very serious decisions.

And after reviewing these scenarios, over and over again, and realizing that they were not prepared to act on them, I walked away.

Why? Because it was obvious they were not interested in creating a plan.

And I didn’t understand why.

Perhaps because they were not prepared to accept the reality these discussions revealed.

That to control their own destiny, and future growth they were going to need to step away from a current business partner. Yes, the very partner that was now affecting their future.

For whatever reason, they could not or would not accept this forthcoming reality.

And now they had no plan.

Calling me at 9pm on a Friday night to tell me you are unhappy is not a plan.

Repeatedly ignoring the strategic direction provided months earlier is not a plan.

Living on past successes is not a plan.

Not preparing for the future is not a plan.

Hope is not a plan.

So I ask you, what is your plan?

Do you have a plan?

A strategic business plan?

A real and actionable plan?

Have you created a one year, three year and five year strategy?

Have you invested the time to gather advice from others, perhaps a third part to vette your thoughts, to refine your thinking?

Have you had serious conversations and ideation sessions where you have put this strategy to the test?

Success is not an accident.

It comes from thinking about, discussing and implementing a plan.

What is your plan?