During the current recession, companies have discovered that in a chaotic, disrupted business environment, business plans don’t always work. As the market changed with lightening speed, marketing plans were tossed out the window in favor of being more nimble. Walt Shill, head of North American management consultant Accenture says, “Strategy as we knew it, is dead.” Increased flexibility and making decisions on the fly is the order of the day as executives react to a dramatically changing business landscape.
But before you toss your strategic plans out the window, let me make one important point: Leaders who are good at flying by the seat of their pants, tend to start with a strategy. Ernest Hemingway used to counsel young writers that the first principle of good writing is to learn all the rules. The second is to know when to toss the rules out the window.
He meant that if you have a solid base, it allows you more freedom. Before you toss your plans, you need to have one in the first place. So before you think it’s OK to toss out planning and wing it, think again. Develop a plan. Work out a strategy. Then, if the market takes a radical shift, you’re in a far better place for jumping out of the plane.