It can be challenging to commit quality time to draft a new plan for your business or refresh your existing plan. The world is constantly throwing objects in our path and we tend to give these impediments a lot of our attention. For many, the ongoing barrage of new challenges to our business (and our lives) can cause us to abandon the idea of writing a plan or revisiting and updating our current plan than has gone stale.
Here’s a quick fix to help get you and your team over this hurdle. At the beginning of your planning meeting, whether you are working alone or with your leadership team, take a few minutes to make a list of the “Critical Impediments” that are currently getting in your way or holding you back from achieving your goals.
You can run through this exercise fairly quickly. We suggest you do this before getting into the specific goal setting and action plans. Try brainstorming without limiting ideas. Use 3-4 word bullet points.
List every current critical issue, problem and challenge that you feel may impede the accomplishment of your overall goals and objectives.
This can be done at the corporate level when you sit down to draft your Business Plan Summary (Step I in the Plan Genie workbook) and also when you start work on the departmental Action Plans (Part IV in the workbook)
|Issue, Problem, Challenge
This exercise has a couple of useful purposes. Firstly, it provides context for your plans. As you publicly acknowledge and document the challenges you are facing, you, your team, and your entire organization can turn your focus on finding solutions, rather than fixating on the problems.
Secondly, as you and your team transfer these worrisome thoughts from your brains onto a document, the emotional attachments seem to dissipate. This is a very freeing exercise. We quickly start to realize there are ways to work around, through, or over these impediments.
Space station commander, Chris Hadfield, explained that his team spent 4 years planning their six month mission. They were constantly looking at “what can kill us” and planned accordingly.
Photo Credit: Thank you @ellasegal via Twenty20 for your playful Elephant photo. Your work helps us express our message effectively.