Planning is powerful tool in uncertain times

Planning is powerful tool in uncertain times

Baker Creative > Blog > Business > Planning is powerful tool in uncertain times

Every new administration — whether presidential or corporate and regardless of the era — brings about change.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said during his first inaugural address in 1933, “The only thing we have to fear…is fear itself.” In 2021, a new quote could be this: “The only thing for certain is uncertainty.”

Companies can combat uncertainty to the best of their ability by facing it, not fearing it. Some company leaders have expressed that the unrest caused the pandemic and its lingering effects prompted them to be more creative.  More resourceful. More willing to embrace new ideas. They have had to rethink even the most tried-and-true plans and events rather than just rubber-stamping their annual arrival for activation.

There are more variables and unknowns than ever. However, harnessing the information you do have and doing your best to plan while remaining nimble enough to pivot and react to market conditions can deliver big benefits for your organization and your team as a result of your resilience.

Consider these factors in your planning, endorsed by entities ranging from GE Healthcare Partners to Harvard Business Review, in order to pay greater dividends for your organization:

Identify the known variables. Look at today and the future, market research, competitive analysis and a variety of potential scenarios and situations.

Develop your team. You may have needed to do more with less during the pandemic. Consider and continue cross-training of associates, adding skill sets for loyal employees who may be hungrier for more to enhance their versatility and value to the group.  When you cannot control all the outside variables, focus on your internal competencies to strengthen your company.

Adapt to change while staying true to your organization’s mission and vision.  Remember why you exist in the first place and the destination you have in mind, even though roadblocks have been tossed in your path.

Keep Calm and Carry On. Appearing first as a motivational poster from the British government in 1939 in advance of World War II, its sentiments have resurfaced today with many popular adaptations, including one that encourages citizens to Keep Calm and Wear A Mask.  The fact remains that if organizational leaders remain calm, their cool confidence carries throughout the organization.

Factor in what you do know. Look at the framework you do have, knowing that legislative changes and new policies will be presented along the way.

Involve your stakeholders. It is important to hear from all channels, from board members to general associates.  Make sure ideas bubbling up from all levels of the organization are welcome and heard.  Ask for suggestions for cost-cutting measures from the people closest to those tasks and processes. You may be surprised by what they easily identify as redundant and they may already have better solutions in mind.

Review your financial plans.  Hit the reset button and revise your forecasts for today’s world to survive and then thrive as the world returns to normalcy.

See what competitors are doing, but follow your own compass. There may be proven value in what others adopt as policy, but consider what makes sense for your organization and add your own twist. See what trends are evident and discern which are passing fads and which will have staying power.

Have a local focus. More and more people are increasingly interested in just how local their food sources are. Staying close to what is happening in each of your local markets and tailoring your reaction accordingly will prove that you are truly invested in the communities you serve.

Update your communications plan. Many employees had never heard of Teams or Zoom before the pandemic and are now exhausted by these platforms, but they and others can still play a vital role in the future.  Look at how you will continue to roll out company news so remote workers will know at the same time as someone in the office next to you. Making sure your associates know and understand how critical information will be conveyed to them will boost morale and confidence and become an important part of the company’s routine.

It is hard to be precise when so many variables abound and there are many potential outcomes to consider.

Remember that no matter how well you may think you know the associates on your team, they do not have mindreading abilities. If you have a plan in your head that is not being shared with and by your team, is not a strategy but a dream. Your team must share your vision to be effective.

By working with Baker Creative, an award-winning brand strategy firm focusing on both the analytical “why behind the buy” and translating that market intelligence to creative assets for you, you’ll be able to move forward with more confidence toward a greater return on investment. When you’re faced with a fork in the road, we’ll show you the challenges and benefits of each path before you even take your first step.