Sunday, January 13, 2013

Business 101: A Business Plan versus Operational Plan


Operational planning is a higher predictor of long-term sustainable success over a business plan.  The business plan is an essential road map to start the journey.  Most business leaders create a business plan, then set it aside and get to work.  Most organizations will focus on activities that provide 80% assurance of long-term failure within five years.  

How do leading companies succeed?  By creating integrated (systemic) systems and processes that will operationalize the business plan and reinforce the organization's strategy. This is also called "Organization Development." Going beyond the business plan, you can systemically operationalize your plan to ensure that everyone is going in the same direction with replicable processes that will absolutely exceed your expectations.  Then you don't have to micro-manage performance, you get to lead and empower growth.

Organization Development ("OD") deals with deliberately improving an organization's performance, effectiveness, health and viability through systemic (integrated) parts.  These parts utilize methodologies and employee development to target where you want to go (strategy) and cohesively getting everyone going in the same direction.  It addresses strategic planning, organizational design, core competencies, hiring, leadership development, performance management and employee development.

Thus, when a company says that "customer service is important" they create performance expectations, hire, train, measure and reward consistently on it.  It doesn't show up as a contradiction where service is important, but the employees are measured on how many calls are processed.