Every organization uses a planning method; whether it is feasible or not is a different story but there has to be some sort of a plan to run a business. When it comes to strategic planning of a business, there are four main approaches. The approaches are as follows:
- Inactive planning: this follows the assumption that the way things are currently is the best they are going to be – any changes will make the future worse.
- Reactive planning: this is an active attempt to undo what has been done – something happens and then a business reacts to the situation.
- Proactive planning: this involves picking what your goals for the future are and inventing ways to reach those goals. The business proactively plans for all scenarios instead of reacting to the scenarios that arise.
- Preactive planning: the business is predicting outcomes of the future – this can be achieved by tracking trends and organizing in such a a way that allows the business to adapt to changes happening around them in a timely manner.
The most reasonable planning strategy to implement a steady growth rate today is preactive planning. Dr. Daniel Burrus touches on the need to identify trends of the future and explains that being proactive is simply not enough to succeed anymore. He says, “Being proactive is agile; being preactive is being anticipatory. If you are only now becoming agile, you are already too late because you are still reacting or pro-acting instead of preacting. We need to be predictably pre-active in a reactive world and to get there at a sustainable pace.”
It’s imperative to have a “future view” during the strategic planning process – the world around us is changing every second of every day, and if we fail to account for that, we will fail all together. You can hone a future view by tracking trends in the world, watching the news daily, monitoring the market, talking to your customers, and keeping an eye on your competitors.
As we enter the halfway point of 2021 and move towards post-pandemic life, how can you preactively plan for the future? Are your customers more sensitive now? Did the market for your industry get bigger or smaller? Can your business adapt to a world where remote work is preferred? How is what you see in today’s current events impacting your business’ tomorrow? If another pandemic hit tomorrow, what would your plan be?
Giving your employees room for growth and professional development is crucial to not only employee satisfaction but employee retention. No one will stay at a job that feels like a dead end or at a job where they don’t feel supported by their employers. Offering employee growth opportunities becomes especially important when morale is low (like it was in 2020), to provide a sense of stability and comfort to your employees.
There are many ways to make room for employee development in your business. An obvious first step is providing your employees with opportunities to advance in their positions in general. If there is no opportunity, then there will be no growth. Then you’ll be able to implement professional training programs, encourage cross-departmental collaborations, learn about their personal lives, and sharpen their skills that will allow them to succeed.
As we move into the back half of 2021, there are actually exceptional opportunities for employee growth despite the hectic last year. With all things of the last year considered, adaptability has moved to the top of the soft skills list on employee resumes and this allows employers to use this adaptability as part of their development plans going forward. A Covid-19 silver lining!
What will you do to leverage the events of 2020 towards sound employee growth?