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Planning Sucks: 3 Ideas to Set It on Fire

Annual planning can be daunting. You sit with your management team and outline the strategic direction for the company. You prioritize. You rationalize. You try to cover all your bases. But the reality is planning isn’t something that happens once a year. Planning is a persistent, ongoing activity. An organizational mentality.

Because of that, you need to establish your road map early and continually react to what the universe is telling you.

If you’ve been through planning before, you know the drill. But there are ways to ensure you keep it fresh and engaging. Here are three new ideas to make planning purposeful and fun:

  1. Ask Your Grandma – Not really. (Even though she probably has some strong opinions) Don’t plan in a bubble. Make sure you’ve analyzed the metrics from the previous year, talked with the sales team, talked with customers and most importantly, engaged the brains of the organization both old and young. Marketing is moving fast and you need to make sure to develop deep brand relationships based on values of the entire organization and its stakeholders.

  2. Create a War Room – Make time to get dirty. The concept here is to find a space to free minds and encourage big thinking. It’s a place to discuss the things that worked well and where you fell short. Tape up ideas, phases and pictures that help define the strategic direction. Find a place to think beyond the immediate and dream beyond 12 months. (Sugary snacks help as well.)

  3. Take a Field Trip – Get out of your four walls and expand your mind. Take your team to a museum, art house movie or yoga class. Make it meaningful to the planning process and arm participants with assignments that force them to observe beyond the surface. Also, don’t be afraid to look outside your industry and get inspired by what others are doing well.

The end product will be better if you make the planning process more dynamic. Here’s another idea, bring in outside thinkers. Talk to us about how Celtic energizes planning and sparks the fire.


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