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No offsite required: get your annual plan set in 8 weeks

October 16, 2020|Leadership, Planning, Strategy


Whose 2020 plans worked out the way they intended? Anyone? Bueller? 

Yes, this is a weird one, but if we are honest, aren’t they all in some way? Now we are inching up on 2021 and you might find yourself wanting to skip the whole planning process. Why plan when the future is so unknown?

Here’s why: without a plan, you and your team will spend your time fighting fires, potentially working in different directions based on the issue that’s in front of them. At best, you’re working harder for less and missing opportunities. At worst, you’re losing ground in the marketplace.

When it comes to annual planning in transportation and logistics, most organizations we talk to fall into one of two camps:


  1. Their “planning” process is mostly a budgeting exercise

  2. They set aside days or weeks (significant organizational energy) each year for in-depth planning


Both leave something to be desired in the bang-for-your-buck category. Yes, your planning process needs to be about more than budgeting, or you are definitely leaving opportunities for growth on the table. But it also does not need to be a big “event” that pulls expensive and important people out of the game for days on end. This traditional approach crams all the strategic thought into a short window and even the best-planned sessions tend to leave participants feeling more exhausted than invigorated. With the current pace of change and travel restrictions in mind, we invite you to consider an alternative.

We have found this 8-week planning process to be highly effective at getting a sound plan together with short sprints of strategy over a period of time. Here’s how it works: 



Breaking up the effort of your planning process like this allows you to not only reduce the time (and cost) of planning, allowing your brightest minds to also spend time on their day jobs throughout the process, but it will lead to a better outcome because you won’t be rushing the process with drained participants.

What is your experience with annual planning? Would an approach like this help?

One final note: regardless of your approach, it often helps to have a guide through this process. A partner to lead the work in the direction you want, allowing you to fully participate in the process. If you need help there, we’ve got you. Click here to schedule a free initial consult.

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