It’s not what’s in your strategic plan that will knock you off course next year – after all, you’re mature, adult, capable, brilliant, even, and the plan’s a good one, right?It’s what’s behind your plan that will screw you. Not the overtly stated underlying assumptions – they are, in fact, part of the plan, so paragraph one applies – but rather the presuppositions that you brought to the planning process: those hidden, subconscious ‘givens’ that seem so solid, so ubiquitous, so…given…that you don’t really think about them.
Your underlying assumption that the market will grow 8% next year won’t kill you – if it turns out more, or less, you’ll adapt and adopt accordingly; but your presupposition that there will still be a market at all, just might.
Your underlying assumption that you’ll add x new employees in the year won’t kill you – if it turns out to be more, or less, you’ll adapt and adopt; but your presupposition that no-one will poach your entire top team, just might.
Your underlying assumption that you’ll launch new product y in Q3 won’t kill you – if it turns out to be earlier, or later, or not at all, you’ll adapt and adopt; but your presupposition that new technology (or legislation, or a demographic shift) won’t make your entire product range obsolete, just might.
What are the presuppositions you’ve made about 2011 – and don’t know it?