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Monday, June 04, 2007

The planning meeting
Within a few hours, we'll be at a chalet in Chelsea, Quebec, for our second strategic planning meeting. Ironically, and significantly, in addition to the facilitators, I am the only person attending the meeting who was with our business last year. And, in reviewing last year's plan, I find that almost nothing in it has materialized as projected. In other words, the plan developed at the meeting truly did not accurately project the future.
Yet I have grown to appreciate the importance of this meeting/planning process, and now truly believe that we would not have experienced the business crisis experienced over the previous three years if we had this kind of systematic planning meeting. The reason: setting out guidelines, expectations, and projections -- and getting people involved in the business to buy into the process, is vital for its survival.
Last year, we were on a 'death spiral' with distrust, frustration, hostility, and negativity -- and all of these negative vibes came through loud and clear at the meeting. A few months later, everyone had left. Our business rebuilding coincided with this blog's launch.
Nevertheless, as we began rebuilding, I had some hesitations about holding another planning session. While the consultants co-ordinating the program have offered generous financial terms, the meeting's bottom-line cost is high, considering our current operating budget. But I quickly realized that we need to, right now, establish a cohesive and realistic vision for the business -- especially if it is to achieve its ambitious future objectives.
The planning session is co-odinated by Bill Caswell of Caswell Corporate Coaching Company.

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