From PQ’s Desk – Planning Season


It’s that time of year, when corporates race to pull together their annual budgets, strategies or plans for the coming year. These documents, though now digital, can often involve hundreds if not thousands of hours of analogue meetings, discussion, debates, drafting and compromise. To save you time, I’ve complied a simple list of ‘buzz words’ that will impress (or bamboozle) those receiving your plan. In most cases it will make signing them off that much easier. I call these my go-to phrases. The idea is to pick one or more phrases, string them together with words like, “using,” and you’re on your way. Try it, you’ll be surprised at how well it will be received.

• Act in collaboration
• Break existing paradigms
• Commit to quality
• Define new aspirational goals
• Deliver on opportunities
• Develop and align talent
• Develop the optimal portfolio of differentiated brands
• Differentiate the product base
• Enable technology
• Engage globally
• Enhance the digital experience
• Focus on our strengths
• Grow through innovation
• Identify new opportunities
• Innovate through growth
• Invest in people
• Juxtapose complementary opportunities
• Key partners
• Leverage existing assets
• Maximize returns
• Normalize customer expectations
• Operate more efficiently
• Position the organization for future growth
• Recharge the culture
• Structure the organization for effective performance
• Test new hypotheses
• Understand new innovations

Now that you’re armed with a new buzz plan you too can be vague and safe. The good news of course is no one ever got toasted for failing to meet a vague or safe plan. In fact committees laud them. The problem however, is if you want to build or achieve greatness these buzz plans are actually your enemy.

So unless you’re truly bound by the confines of a bureaucracy or locked into a committee or structure that decrees it, I urge you to be bold. Push the boat out and build a plan that will stretch you, stretch your team and your organisation. Only then can you be on your way to achieving greatness. And, whilst it’s true that even the most seasoned manager will often hedge their bets or head for the safe-haven of neutral territory, you know that as a manager you have a responsibility to push the envelope, lead from the front and make a difference.

My advice; measure yourself not by whether you got it right or wrong but by whether you had a fair dinkum go!


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