The Importance of Annual Planning

January 2015 will be the start of KB Building Services 30th year serving others exceptionally well in the Omaha-Lincoln-Council Bluffs areas. I was reflecting back on our history when our executive team gathered for our Annual Strategic Plan in October.

It used to be that KB just had an overall strategic plan. It has now evolved into our Annual Strategic Plan. This year marks the 7th year that KB has changed our format into planning on an annual basis. It sounds simple, every year plan where we are going.

When the idea was first brought up to me, I didn’t think it was that important. Strategic Plan? Yes we have one….now let’s go….we are too busy to stop and check back in on the plan….or focus on what may need to change with the plan. And then a colleague asked me to tell him about my last five family vacations. I went into great detail about the location, the activities, and the coordination. He smiled and said “I see”. But I didn’t see. What in the world does going on family vacation have to do with my company’s strategic plan?

He then asked me about our trip to Tampa. He asked what if we had just told everyone in our family (20 members on that trip) that we were going on vacation. Nothing else. Just vacation. What if someone packed for a skiing trip? What if someone planned to drive there? What if someone needed to save more resources to pay for flights? What if someone left two weeks early? What if no one thought about the accommodations until everything was fully booked? It was starting to get clearer to me as he asked rhetorical question after rhetorical question. Was there any confusion among my office team on where we were going? How we were going to get there? What we needed to plan, or bring, or do before it was too late?

Our family vacations are well thought out. We have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for planning it. All of the logistics and tactical things that have to be accomplished. That is so important for our family time together and even more so for our time working on our business too. We hold annual strategic plans in our business so everyone on our team knows where we are going. We take time to work “on” our business so we don’t waste resources when we are working “in” our business.

The journey is always way more fun than the destination, but we also found out with annual planning that being intentional about our destination is required for that fun journey to begin. Where are you going in 2015? Rarely do we plan to fail, but rather fail to plan. Happy Planning… should happen every year!