Why Planning Right & Executing Well Can Make the Difference!

American Business icon T. Boone Pickens once said, “A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan.” There’s a lot of truth–and irony-in Pickens’ often quoted perspective of the business planning process! The truth is that business planning is the glue that ties your business goals to your purpose. It’s the vehicle that helps you to think through the process of cause and effect. The irony is that too many companies have a plan but tend to sidestep the strategy markers deemed critically important to successfully execute on their plan. 

I believe that business owners must have a growth mindset and be willing to upset the status quo. If they are not willing or ready to review every part of the organization – the people, the processes, and the structure – with a critical eye, the opportunity for real change and projected outcomes will be muted, at best. 

The reality is that a plan is the start of the conversation, not the end of it. Business owners must consistently ask ‘why?’, not just ‘what?’ and ‘how?  

That translates into being able to change when change is necessary. Business owners must be willing to have a vulnerability that’s defined by an open mind that allows them to be able to admit to weaknesses and willingness to face reality.”  

Your plan is just the start of the conversation. After everything is put down on paper, you must pursue clarity of your goals. Then communicate them, and assure your intended goals are achieved by everyone on your team.  

It should be clear how the business will do what they do. It should be clear who they intend to sell to, contract with and collaborate with. If you have a pretty plan that does not provide a clear blueprint for success, it will be worthless. 

Planning should be done annually and executed quarterly at the minimum. Don’t take on too many projects – burning resources and capital. Setting an aggressive, but achievable pace is a healthy strategy. Business plan are documents to guide the business, not put your business in a straitjacket! 


Thomasina Skipper, WIFS Atlanta Chapter 

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