It is not often that I find myself without words. I usually have plenty to say about any topic imaginable. But recently when speaking with a CEO who had asked my advice about how to deal with a particular challenge in his business, I was rendered speechless. This CEO had recently lost a key supplier to the competition thereby disrupting his supply chain and causing production and delivery problems.
As we discussed his challenges, the CEO seemed forthright and was open to hearing ideas of how to handle this. So I told him about several other clients that had experienced the same problem and how they created a foolproof method for avoiding such circumstances in the future. I suggested he engage in some planning to create a network of suppliers with contingencies for those that fail to maintain loyalty. I suggested that in the future, he should try to avoid depending too much on any one supplier unless there was an exclusive arrangement in place. I told him that the key was doing some careful planning to identify competitive suppliers and play one against another.
His response both stunned and surprised me. He said. “Wow, that sounds like it would take a LOT of time. I don’t have time for planning!” I asked him if he now had time to find a new supplier. He answered a sheepish, “No,” and went on to tell me about how he was working 60+ hours per week just trying to manage all of the details of his business.
I think this is a fairly common problem with business leaders today. We spend so much time working IN our business that we fail to work ON the business. Peter Drucker said that on the average one hour spent planning is worth 5 hours of execution. Are you spending enough time planning? Do you need to take a step back and look at the big picture and identify some contingencies?
This might be the very time to do just that. For more information on planning and planning resources, check out our library of articles.
Mark Deo and Cory Halbardier, as well as other SBA Network consultants are available for keynote presentations and other type of speaking engagements. Contact Cory Halbardier at 310-320-8190 to ask about availability.