Strategic Planning is not just for the Board Room

Strategic Planning is not just for the Board Room

This past year, I’ve had to deal with the declining health of my parents, requiring them to be admitted to a nursing home/rehabilitation facility. Regrettably, neither of them had planned for this event – from either a financial or emotional aspect. As such, care decisions were left to me and my sisters.

As a planner, I know that we should have and could have avoided a lot of expense and disagreement had we had a strategic plan in place.

So how does a family benefit from strategic planning and thinking? By using the same techniques we use in the corporate world. Six Thinking Hats® would have been an excellent process. We would have been able to process the factual data, recognize the logical concerns as well as the logical positives, create new ideas and plans for their well-being as well deal with the emotional impact that impacts decision making. My sisters, parents, and I could have been in parallel alignment to deal with the changing life circumstances. Instead, my sisters and I felt at odds with our parents. We even had to go to the legal system to make decisions in their own best interest. Talk about a role reversal!

By utilizing a strategic thinking process, families can avoid the stress we have endured. Family meetings would be conducted to develop a plan in the event that a parent (or child) becomes incapacitated. Such meetings are not just for the elderly but should be held throughout our lives to ensure that there is both a plan and a strategy in place. Whether you are young or old, single or married, find a process that works, put a plan in place, review annually, and then enjoy your life knowing that some of the stresses of aging have been eliminated. Trust me, this ordeal has made my sisters and I spread the word to our friends and associates about the consequences of not having a life aging strategy. Unnecessarily, we had to watch our parents exhaust their life savings because they did not make a plan when able. It was completely preventable! Because they could no longer make decisions on their own behalf, they lost control of their lives.

Corporations need to also have a plan in place – one that evolves with the corporation and also helps eliminates the stresses of growing a company into maturity and beyond. Most organizations do not have a thinking framework from which to work. This unnecessarily causes the traditional western culture of being in a position to defend themselves rather than working in a forward movement for parallel alignment. How refreshing it is for those organizations that have implemented de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®to create new ideas, become more efficient, and save time and money. Six Thinking Hats® is like any other change management program–it requires intentional and deliberate implementation of the thinking framework. It is such an easy tool that can be applied to so many complex decisions in our competitive world of business. (Read more about this method here: SIX THINKING HATS)

An organization has to be ready and capable to implement a new thinking framework. Are you ready? Don’t let life or business catch you by surprise.

Until next time,

Penny Crow

CEO/Chief Thinking Strategist