Blog of Strategic,General and Financial Management (English/Spanish)

Strategycorner is now expanding its content to include posts about General Management, Financial Management, Finance Transformation, Marketing and HR Management. Posts will be published in English or Spanish.

At the end of the blog there are different charts about Strategic Management in Spanish. In the archive area you could find a lot of posts about strategy and its execution in English/Spanish.

Jesús Peral
Executive MBA IE Business School, Madrid,Spain

Master in Strategic Management
IDE-CESEM Business School, Madrid, Spain

Find at the end of blog all charts related to Strategic Management topics commented in the posts

Mapa Estratégico Genérico/Strategy Map

Mapa Estratégico Genérico/Strategy Map
Mapa Estratégico Completo

Modelo de Dirección Estratégica/Strategic Management Model

Modelo de Dirección Estratégica/Strategic Management Model
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martes, 7 de abril de 2015

Annual business plan: what readers of the plan will look for

This is the first post published directly in English in my blog. From now on I will combine posts in English and in Spanish as it has been demanded by the followers of the blog.

It is likely that depending on your fiscal year end you will start to prepare your annual budget or plan shortly. As every year the plan will finally be presented to a group of stakeholders or even to investors outside the organization.

In this post I would like share my experience gained in different organizations and some important factors when presenting this document.

Assuming you know who is going to receive your plan, your first challenge is ensuring that it is read. This is why the presentation and executive summary have to be good. It is highly unlikely that anyone will read the plan to the beginning to the end.

If the plan is for internal purposes you should be confident that a plan for this use will be given some attention. You can also be certain that the plan will not be read in their entirety either. The best you can hope for is that readers will grasp some good points from the plan before the next meeting in the boardroom or in the CEO office. You don’t want casual readers to find things that they can readily pick on and criticize. Hence my advice would be, think about the people who will be sitting around that “polished table”.

With the personalities of your organization in mind, read the plan again and try to see where your opponents might find ammunition. Consider if you have mistakenly overemphasized a weakness or an uncertainty or whether you have made assumptions that can be torn apart. If possible discuss the plan with your direct boss to see where he or she finds weaknesses and where you can look for support.

If you are fighting in a tough “political atmosphere” don’t let your plan be discussed too freely in advance. Too much idle chatter give your opponents time to formulate strategies. Don’t show everyone your hand or your best ideas will turn on the boss´s desk in someone else´s memo two days before you can present your brilliant business plan.

But, who are the group of people that could be sitting in the conference table?

First of all ,the decision-maker.  Even if the EVP or CEO makes the decision, it might be based wholly or partly on feedback or recommendation from others therefore don’t focus on the head of the table to the exclusion of all others.

In the second position, let´s say, the influencer. Frequently there is a “wise man” exerting strong influence on the decision-maker. Win the influencer´s support and you might win the battle.

Next, your direct boss. In this case you can usually expect a constructive attitude from this person and you are strong if he or she is the key influencer.

And finally, my most like group. The opponents, the nasty “point-scorers” and the supporters.

It is likely you will have some opponents. They might be motivated by personal grudge against you, “personality disorders”, ambition or maybe “their divorce” is making them grouchy. Whatever the cause, they will pick up on anything negative in your business plan.

What to say about the point-scorers. There are invariably a few people knocking around   your company who spend their time looking for an opportunity to look good in front of the bosses or otherwise “score points”, even if it means wrecking a perfectly reasonable business plan just because it was not invented by them.

Finally, your fellow contributors, directors or managers that will gain from the plan and if this plan is sound are likely to be generally positive. But watch out for unexpected point-scorers and those with hidden agendas. Don’t rely on goodwill or friendship for getting support, prefer facts and good arguments.

Every reader will want to see you are presenting an attractive business and the track record is of overwhelming importance.


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