Putting A Business Plan Into Practice

May 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Business, Employment

Making a Business Plan Work

Management is a complicated job and it’s fair to say that even those carrying out the role don’t always know what it entails. For many, it is about putting together a strategy that will see the company thrive in the future. They may spend many hours drawing this up until they feel that every single aspect is absolutely perfect. Sadly for these people, that is only half the job.

If you are a manager and you think your job is purely to strategise, you are very much mistaken. You also have to find a way of putting these plans into practice.

The problem is that many managers are idealists. They don’t necessarily understand that there might be stumbling blocks on the way to achieving their goals, so when they arise, they rage against them and do unproductive things which set the company back, fundamentally undermining the plan they spent so long refining. A dose of realism is required.

Let’s take a couple of examples from the world of sport.

England cricketer, Kevin Pietersen, is well known as being one of the more awkward players to deal with in the team. Stroppy and demanding, he can disrupt the best-laid plans. For many managers, this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and they would kick him out without a moment’s thought.

The problem is that he also happens to be one of the team’s greatest contributors, able to win matches almost single-handed. Also, when in a good mood, he is a fantastic team player and by all accounts one of the best role models in terms of how to prepare for a Test.

At the opposite extreme, we have a team like New Zealand. They have few exceptional players and instead rely on everyone buying into the coach’s plans, whatever they may be. However, those plans have to be realistic. The New Zealand management team have to work with what they’ve got.

They can’t make plans as if they have some ideal workforce operating on their behalf because the players simply cannot deliver certain things. Instead, they must be canny and make plans according to the resources available.

Managing a company is no different to these examples. You can have the best plan in the world, but you can’t just expect people to go along with it because you believe in it. You need to offer people something to keep them happy. If you have talented staff who can do great things, you need to be flexible and keep them happy and if you have limited staff, you should refine your plans so that they can deliver them, even if that means a degree of compromise in terms of your ideal business plan.

In all cases, you should resist the temptation to effectively discard employees you deem to be substandard either temperamentally or in terms of ability. Unless your business is already massively successful then you probably won’t be able to attract the perfect member of staff, because you won’t be able to pay them enough. You have to be a pragmatist.


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