19th century German field marshal, Helmuth von Moltke, is famous for saying “No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” Translation: the best made plans always change when met with reality; particularly in robust, highly competitive, and dynamic markets. The shifting sands of macro-economic forces, customer demands, competitor tactics, and regulatory pressures render near obsolete almost all well-conceived plans.
Planning, under these circumstances, is the bane of management.
Progressive management teams are thinking beyond static annual operating plans and opting for dynamic forecasts. Flexible financial planning models allow these teams to assess the impacts of life’s probable left turns on the business and bake these impacts into their forward view of the world. The most robust and stalwart, yet nimble, plans are the result of thoughtfully-designed processes and tools.
Have you ever participated in planning discussions where the plan is presented to senior management, management rifles a gaggle of questions (“What if organic growth in Region A is only X% in year two and Y% in year four?! What does this do to our consolidated earnings in year five?!) only to have to wait a few weeks for the team to “run the numbers” before everyone can see the results?
Consider how wonderful it would be to participate in the same meeting, but to evidence the team running any number of hypothetical scenarios or testing an array of strategic or operational assumptions and showing senior management the results live! In real time! Now that is powerful and is precisely what we’ve done for a few of our past clients.
If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you build a plan which survives the enemy, please Contact Us.