December 03, 2006

Good day, team,

This month it seems that all my clients are involved in some sort of strategic planning sessions. They’re either following up on meetings held previously or presenting plans they’ve worked on for months. My individual clients are also strategizing about what they want to achieve in the coming months.

Such activities are a common occurence at this time of year. What better time to think about how we want to position ourselves, the goals we want to achieve, and how much profit we want to make than in preparation for the new year?

People with strengths in strategic thinking relish this sort of task. They love to analyze data and come up with different ways to have a more competitive edge. There’s nothing more fun than coming up with a forecast and then comparing your accuracy as the numbers come in. It’s like gambling: You analyze the cards, strategize your moves and then see how the game plays out.

But in the midst of this activity, it’s equally important to pay attention to what’s in front of us right now. There’s a tendency when involved in strategic planning to ignore what’s actually happening and possibly miss a great opportunity.

Last year, one group of clients got so involved in their strategic planning process that they missed the chance to do business with a client who would have opened up a new segment of their market. The strategic planning committee couldn’t see how the customer fit their plan for the new year, so they ignored the customer’s request. That customer went to a competitor instead and gave that company half a million dollars’ worth of business that my client could easily have garnered.

Your challenge this week is to try to see what’s right in front of you. While you’re thinking strategically, are you also keeping an eye on the opportunities that are here right now? Are you ignoring some of your customers’ current needs while you’re busy thinking about what you’ll give them in the future?

Planning is important, but being flexible enough to alter the plan when opportunity knocks in the here and now can be even more crucial.

Have a great week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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