When I worked for McDonald’s I learned that planning is a team sport; most effective when it involves the people it affects as well as those who’ll deliver on it.
I learned that you listen to those with the skills and experience, but you also consider the new and the different; that it’s ok to re-visit that might once have been considered crazy or just plain wrong for the business, as things change, and the ‘right time’ comes along.
Just like every other area of the business, I learned that you have a system for planning that makes it routine, regular, consistent; that keeps you focused on the end goal, even when you need to adapt, or change your route.
A robust planning system keeps everyone in the business, focused and on track. Because everyone knows where you’re all headed, there’s less stress, and less chaos, which also saves you time and money. And it gives you the opportunity to celebrate with your team when you reach your milestone markers along the way.
Planning is a team sport at McDonald’s – they invest an awful lot of time and money, in bringing together people from all areas of the business – Operations, Support, Franchisees, Suppliers – with the aim of developing challenging plans and goals that everyone buys into.
They want everyone engaged in the business Vision, the direction of travel, and the route map that’s going to take them there. They want to be able to celebrate milestones, achievements big and small, and then, when the tough times come, they want everyone to see the fight as theirs, to work together to turn things back round.
The investment in their Planning system delivers a huge return. It’s a foundation system that they would not be without.
Many business owners don’t see Planning that way.
- They view it as a pain – something you have to do for investors or the bank manager
- They feel they don’t have time, preferring to ‘go with the flow’
- They see it as restricting – they’d rather be flexible, able to grab opportunities as they come
- They feel they have a plan, when all they really have is a spreadsheet full of numbers
- They consider it unnecessary – why do I need to write down what’s in my head?
Many business owners are missing a trick. But the fact that you’re even reading this tells me you’re not going to be one of the many.
Your team are never going to be heard asking ‘are we there yet?’
Your team are going to know exactly where they’re going, how they’re going to get there, and when they’ve arrived.
And then you’re going to celebrate…big style!