greg bustin planning for the future

What’s Your Future?

  1. September 27th, 2011  | 

  2. Print This Post
Published in Strategic Planning

As inevitably as the seasons change, thousands of companies every year shut their doors because of the leadership team’s failure to develop a written plan and then implement it. Tens of thousands of other companies fail to reach their full potential for the same reason. Planning is more important than it seems.

Knowing this, why do so many leaders resist the planning process?

“Planning is an unnatural process,” said Sir John Harvey-Jones, Chairman of Britain’s Imperial Chemical Industries. “It is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.”

If you’ve not planned at all or had difficulty with implementation, your initial approach should be to develop an annual plan. Focus on affirming values and direction, establishing priorities and translating those priorities into objectives with action items, responsibilities and deadlines. While somewhat tactical, the primary value is derived from getting your leaders focused on the most important operational issues that they and their teams will address over the next 12 months to improve performance.

From the 150 planning sessions I’ve facilitated, I always see lots of low-hanging fruit organizations can harvest from this process.

Once you’ve picked the easy stuff, you’re ready to develop and implement a strategic plan that focuses on new opportunities. Where are the gaps or opportunities in our product or service offerings? What emerging patterns have we identified that we may be able to capitalize upon? Are there any competitors or up-and-coming or struggling businesses that we should look at acquiring?

An organization without a plan has a limited future.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

Ready to reset?

Attend my free Accountability webinar: I Did It! to set and achieve your 2021 goals.


  • February 17th from 11 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time
  • My free webinar will help you:
    – Sharpen your personal goals
    – Improve time management
    – Tackle tough work-related issues
    – Support remote workers

Learn More
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”

Get The Book

Become a better leader.

Download my three free e-books.

Greg Bustin

Please enter your information below to access a digital download link for my three free eBooks. Once submitted, you will receive an email with a link to download the eBooks.

Free Tips

Sign up to receive free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Greg Bustin

Please enter your information below to start receiving free tips on business, leadership, and life.

Sign up for my free bimonthly email button