Situation: Business has turned around in the last six months and I’m so focused on sales that I don’t have time to plan. How and when do you plan for growth?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Think about the business cycle – the upswing, the peak and the downturn:
- On the upswing there is a tendency to be so focused on the day to day that you spend no time testing the business environment or on the long-term planning activities that are critical to sustained growth and success.
- If the CEO doesn’t take time during the upswing to evaluate new opportunities it’s easy to fall into the trap where planning occurs until after the cycle has peaked.
- After the business cycle has peaked, it is too late to take advantage of opportunities that were available during the upswing.
- Once the business cycle is in a downturn attention shifts to preservation and survival. The opportunity to reallocate resources to build alternative future scenarios has been lost.
- If you feel pressure to bring on additional resources, set a timeframe to evaluate the situation – say a few weeks or a month – and see if the pressure is sustained. If it is, have a plan in place to secure those resources. Do this with a clear head – not on impulse. Exercise discipline.
- Remember that leadership is your job – not being immersed in the day to day. A leader keeps others immersed in and focused on the day to day.
Key Words: Leadership, Business Cycle, Planning, Adding Personnel