September 02, 2016
Debunking "We Don't Plan"
Michael Stolp, VP and Senior Business Advisor-BMC
Strategic planning isn’t a silver bullet, but in most family businesses it can create clarity. When people have varying views of the present and/or future, strategic planning helps create a common foundation to build upon. Why. then, do families so often hesitate?
“Dad said he’ll never do it again,” said the son as he asked about scheduling a planning session for his family’s business. The Dad’s sentiment and the son’s interest in reinitiating a planning session dialogue aren’t so uncommon. What are some of the reasons families hesitate to initiate a planning session, or start and then stop? Oftentimes, it’s the fear of conflict or the unknown.
In our experience, not knowing is even more unsettling because assumptions fill the gaps between strategic conversations. Let’s shed some light on the top hot spots in family business planning and inspire confidence that your family, like those we work with, can overcome these obstacles to build a shared plan for the future.
All we do is work. Who has time to plan?
We can't talk!
He/She just doesn't get it.
We need a sharper pencil
We're tripping over each other
Plans don't work.
Fair isn't always equal and will blow up my family.
There’s a reason experts talk about the proven positive relationship between planning and profits. Although planning isn’t a prerequisite for success, it can smooth the inevitable bumps in the road. Most businesses do plan – they simply do it in their heads. However, as businesses evolve and include multiple generations and more people, ‘read-my-mind’ planning includes obvious challenges in communication and making the most of everyone’s insights.