It seems to be business planning season. I keep having conversations with people who are in full on business planning mode, developing the plans for the future of their organisation. This seems to mean squirrelling away their senior team of executives and some board members or trustees and maybe some consultants or advisors.
The aim it would seem is to develop plans for the future of the organisation, a vision and detailed plan for the next one, two, three or even five years. But is it possible to hide yourself away in a hotel or a board room and as a team develop the ideas which will move your organisation forward?
Can you really know what your clients need?
I don’t believe you can ever know what your clients need unless you ask them. But I also know many of my clients find that a scary concept. They worry if they ask their clients they will give them a wish list of unreasonable or unworkable ideas.
Maybe we need a more collaborative approach to business planning, listening to our clients and service users before setting out your vision for the future. I’m not sure however that I have the answers currently. But what I am sure is that the importance of collaboration cannot be underestimated.
Do let me know what you’re doing around client-led business planning or service user collaboration.