The burning platform

As a planner, there are endless variables that demand your consideration at all times. The intricacies of the organization, the capacity of the decision makers for creating and managing strategy, economic shifts and the integration between various teams are always on your mind, your ability to adapt the processes and tools to the personalities and skills in the room and the list goes on. In the ongoing struggle for better performance within your business lines, never forget one of the critical elements of success: The Burning Platform.

Most of us generally assume that when someone engages your service to help them solve business challenges, that they are prepared to do what it takes on the implementation side. This should be an obvious challenge, as only 20% of companies are successful in implementing strategy. Somewhere between a lack of understanding of how to manage strategy and the lack of motivation to change, companies leave profits on the table every year.

Most people that do this for a living will run into a certain segment of people that don’t implement the work you provide for them well or at all. You are sometimes left with the question of whether it’s a competency issue or that of willingness to change. Both of these have a remedy, but it’s important to identify this early in your work so that you can move the client to the right solution.

When you sit down with your next client, consider their willingness to pull the trigger on the changes you identify through planning. It might even be a great conversation to have with the executive sponsor around what degree of motivation exists. This may help her/him and you get what you’re after in terms of outcomes rather than seeing time slip away, which costs the client time to adapt to their changing market.

Is the platform cold, warm, hot or a raging inferno? Change is not a naturally comfortable event, so consider how hot it will have to be to get the results you need.