Argos, the UK multi-channel general merchandise retailer has announced that, as part of a move to attract more affluent customers, it will dramatically reduce the size of its catalogue.

This will come as bad news to my 7-year old son, Louis. Last year, when we asked our three boys to write a Christmas list for Santa, our two older boys gave my wife and I a traditional list of 5-10 items. Louis, however, grabbed scissors, glue and paper and created a 20-page booklet of toys, games and gadgets that he’d cut out of the Argos catalogue.  When we asked him which of the 50 items he really wanted, he told us that it was impossible for him to choose.

Many of the proposed lists of strategic initiatives from executive teams remind me of Louis’ Argos list. Driven by a detailed understanding of all the issues facing the business, and not wanting to miss out on any potential new opportunities, the teams become unable to prioritise or choose the most important projects that they really want to drive.

As we enter the planning period for 2013, what are you doing to make sure that your agenda for next year is focused on your very biggest priorities and doesn’t look like Louis’ Argos Christmas list?

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.