The Power of Personal Planning - Part 1

I don't want to get evangelical here, but I am a true believer in the astonishing power of personal planning. We aren't talking about financial planning or making a "bucket list". This is my own brand of personal planning...firmly grounded in reality, and tightly linked to an organization's comprehensive and effective business planning process.

After 15 years of thinking about almost nothing but strategy and business planning, and 6 years of consulting and speaking on the topic of planning around the world...I finally clued in. I have found the final missing link. Sure, I have helped companies over the years try to connect the actions of employees to the business plan, but I never truly formalized the model, and I hate to admit...I never used the model personally. That has all changed over the past 9 months.

I am using the model myself, and I have several clients in various stages of maturity using personal action planning as part of their comprehensive, dynamic business planning processes. The results are remarkable. I have had calls and e-mails from many employees where we have implemented personal planning. I had comments from people like:

  • My desk is cleaner.
  • I am more productive.
  • I have the confidence to say no.
  • I have less uncertainty.

I even had one person tell me that they are an "implementation machine". Overall though, the general feeling is, that in addition to being more productive, it is somehow a more satisfying type of productive, because individual actions are connected to corporate priorities (and ultimately the vision) of the organization. I smile knowingly at every comment, because I feel the same way. I am seeing success in my business that I know is connected to the discipline of personal planning.

When my daughter was 10 years old, I was trying to explain to her what my job is...what the heck I do all day. After a few minutes of back and forth, she said "Oh, I get it. You help companies make 'to do' lists. Then you make sure they get them done." That is precisely what I do. So why not help employees of those companies, carefully link their 'to do' lists, that they are probably already making, to the priorities of their companies?

Why not use this elegant planning model we already have and take it just one more step? We already connect the organization's Practical Vision to their Strategic Imperatives, to their Operational Plan, to their Projects and Initiatives. Of course, we also provide a means to measure success at each level. Formalized personal planning simply goes one step further, and adds the next layer to our Integrated Planning Model.

Mark Twain said "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one". This is precisely what we do with personal planning. In our next newsletter, we will find out how.

I understand that I have just scratched the surface on this subject. If you would like to know more, give us a call today. (519) 740-2725.