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Executives love to talk about planning… but most complain their processes don’t work very well. Harvard Business Review reports that only 11% of CEO’s believe that strategic planning is worth the effort. Most planning processes are too complex, and only document decisions already made. CEO’s have the responsibility to make their planning processes effective. The key is to keep the processes simple and focused.

Here are some of our observations about the role of leaders in planning:

Once the team knows the big picture, our favorite questions are:

• From where you sit, what does the future look like?

• What would be the steps you would take to get there?

• What are the obstacles you need to overcome?

• What resources are required?

• What will you measure to know if you are successful?

Some Steps to Take:

Treat planning is a continuous process…not an event.

Your final “plan document” should represent a set of decisions.

Make your plans work by making sure they get implemented and periodically reviewed. One Page Plans are an easy way to accomplish this.