In the accounting profession, partners in public firms spend a lot of time deciding when and where to have their annual planning retreat. Then they begin to search for a facilitator and if they haven’t waited too long into the new year, they are able to book that amazing guy/gal that they have heard so much about.
The date arrives and the five or six partners (maybe more), are excited about discussing the major issues facing the firm. They are good about not getting stuck in the details about day-to-day operations and the ever-evolving drama surrounding personnel issues.
They go through the strategic planning steps, perhaps doing a SWOT analysis. They heed the guidance provided by the facilitator and determine where they should focus for the coming years. They leave the retreat on a high with a two or three-year plan in a rough draft format.
Leaders for each initiative are assigned and, then what?
That’s where I see the following Drucker quote come into play:
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” – Peter Drucker
Discussing, debating and ending with a plan is fun. In many firms, when the hard work appears on the horizon, complacency creeps in and the group ends up talking about the same issues the following year.