Okay, what’s the plan?

Creating a clear plan for your accounting firm in these times of rapid change and dramatic global and political events can be something of a conundrum.

Pablo Picasso told us:-

 “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more.

Then Mike Tyson comes along:-

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

Absolutely! He’d know.

These two quotes neatly book-end the arguments that surround the creation of a plan. You need a clear plan if you are to successfully map out your route to success but what is the point if it can be smashed at any point by forces outside of your control?

In the three point, triangular model that I use for the development of accounting firms, the Leadership apex itself consists of three steps:

  1. Vision
  2. Influence
  3. Plan

I’ve covered vision and influence in previous articles.

Clearly, I believe in the value of having a plan, not just because it helps you as the leader to focus on your route to success, to your vision, but it means that you are able to communicate that route to those who need to know: yourself, your team and your clients.

I am very much in the Pablo Picasso camp then.

But Tyson is right. The possibility of us getting punched in the mouth, in a business sense, has always been there, but, in these challenging political and digital times, we face a particularly busy and aggressive opponent. We’re going to take some blows.

Having a plan doesn’t necessarily help us to withstand those blows, that will be down to our training, state of fitness, team support, mental strength, luck and sheer bloody mindedness, but what it does do is give us a route back into the fight, a way forward.

Without a plan, decisions tend to be reactive, inconsistent, longer to take. Yes, there will always be times when we need to think on our feet but that’s about decision making, it’s not a plan.

With a plan, our team are onside, our training can be focused, our business fitness can be better prepared. Most importantly, our decisions are lined up with our vision. We may have to adjust them to accommodate the moves that we face but we understand what adjustments we need to make to get back on route to our goal of success.

How to create your plan is for another article but the first step in any plan is recognising the need for one.

The second step is committing to get it written down.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt:

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Many will have a wish list for next year, fewer will have a plan.

You choose.

Richard Brewin

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