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This week’s focus: The US army has a saying that plans rarely survive contact with the enemy. Mike Tyson put it even better when he said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face!

In spite of all this common sense evidence, annual business planning is still as alive and thriving today as it has been for the past few decades. I think it’s time for a change of attitude and change of approach. In fast-changing, uncertain markets quarterly plans make much more sense. Trying to plan activities up to 15-18 months ahead of when they might happen seems perverse in most twenty-first century markets.

When a new CEO or leader is brought into a business they often create a 90-day or 100-day plan. Why? Because three months is a long enough period of time to make real progress on a few issues and is short enough to demand focus and discipline to make it happen. It allows you to hit the ground running.

Why change this approach after 100 days? Why not build on the momentum to create a never-ending series of quarterly plans that reflect your changing circumstances and priorities, and move your organisation forward with both  pace and agility?

Off The Record: Beautiful Boy by John Lennon

Before you cross the street

Take my hand

Life is just what happens to you

While your busy making other plans

© Stuart Cross 2015. All rights reserved.