If you've followed me for long, you know I am a big fan of Rita McGrath. Well its that time of year for many of the companies I own and work in as well as for our strategic partners and clients - we are all planning for 2011 and we are all still reeling a bit from the economy while trying to figure out "how we could grow". Rita has an excellent view on planning for growth. Her notions are on point: so many companies don't plan for growth very well.
An important notion McGrath shares is one of the ratio of assumptions to knowledge. Often because an organization or its leadership has had success in the past leading there is a false belief that they will be able to replicate that success in new growth initiatives. Problem is there ordinarily isn't enough knowledge about the new growth area to succesfully create reliable plans from inception and a "dysfunctional" dynamic is created around planning for growth. Leaders plan thinking their plan will be right instead of realizing the high ratio of assumptions to knowledge and accepting their plans will more likely be wrong.
As a result most leaders need to rethink planning and strategy. Many leaders should stop thinking that planning is about being right. They should also stop thinking failing is bad. Low cost intelligent learning is invaluable and businesses have great opportunities to improve how they learn to create value but this thinking remains uncommon today. The implications of this thinking to organization's planning processes are significant.
Watch this interview where Rita and her esteemed co-author explain their concepts. It is an invaluable approach in this day and time and you should consider adopting it in your organization. Contact me, Bryan O'Rourke, and share - How is your fitness or wellness business planning for growth in 2011 ?