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Corporate plans

  • A good corporate plan should set out where an organisation aims to be in say five years time and, broadly, how it is to get there
  •  It should define the organisation’s business model  by explaining its choices of products and markets – and how it will make money, grow the business and meet demand
  •  Glen Moreno, Chairman of Pearson and a director of Man Group and Fidelity, says a corporate plan is “the reallocation of scarce capital resources towards the best opportunities for growth in earnings and returns”
  •  The author, Stephen Covey, said: “Plans are the knowledge about what to do and why – others then have to provide the how to do and the employee motivation for want to do”
  •  According to Peter Drucker, the corporate plan should provide answers to:
    • If we were not in this product/ service/ market/ business, would we be going into it now?
    • What goes on outside the business, especially with non-customers, given the first sign of the need for fundamental change rarely appears within?
  • Dr Edwards Deming said managers that face the following questions will soon see the need for an overall integrated plan:
    • Where do you hope to be five years from now?
    • How may you reach this goal – and by what method?
  • Jack Welch, when CEO of GE, said an organisation’s strategy should define the ultimate aim of “how it intends to win in business”:
    • It’s actually very straightforward
    • It’s an approximate course of action that you frequently revisit and redefine according to shifting market conditions
    • It’s about funding the big ‘aha’, setting a broad direction, putting the right people behind it and then executing with an unyielding emphasis on continual improvement
    • It’s resource allocation, given you cannot be everything to everybody, whatever your size
  • Good plans are thus not long-winded, verbose glossies but short, punchy statements of broad aims and how they are to be achieved – they’re not prescriptive in every detail but deliberately leave tactics down to others
  • They’re the equivalent of the short, inspirational briefings that General George Patton or Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson gave to their commanders before battle – their commanders didn’t need, or want, any more

Leadership – Horatio Nelson

The Vice Admiral always led from the front – he lost his right eye at Calvi, his right arm at Tenerife, his life at Trafalgar   Whilst of no great physical stature, clearly he was no shrinking violet in battle and this proved inspirational to his fellow officers and crew, and the nation   He …

Leadership – Duke of Wellington

 The Battle of Waterloo, 18 June, 1815: At Waterloo, Napoleon underestimated Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, made a series of tactical errors and confused his army   Napoleon’s army was the best he had commanded since he advanced into Russia – an army of veterans 200,000 strong   He hit the British …

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