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Let’s face it. Planning is a primary responsibility if you want to grow a successful business. Just thinking about planning is stressful to people who prefer to use their time being creative. There are some major reasons planning is stressful to creative people. Charlie Gilkey suggests several:

Planning requires dedicated attention. It’s often time-consuming when we don’t have that much time spare. It requires focus on something we’re generally not interested in doing.

Planning is something we will never completely finish. It’s an on-going process that must be maintained in the midst of other responsibilities.

Planning gives us a sense of uncertainty and the looming possibility of failure. No one likes this feeling.

Planning requires us to depend on guesswork. It’s hard to see whether what we are predicting is logical or relevant. We have the feeling that we really don’t know what we’re doing, but we do it any way. This leaves us with a prevailing uneasiness.

One of the biggest deterrents to creating a management strategy is the belief that we can go with our gut feelings when making important decisions. We think we will just know what to do when the time comes. This seldom works unless we have years of business experience to draw from. Many businesses have failed using this”fly by the seat of my pants” approach.

Imagining is something we all can do if we make time for it. It’s enjoyable too because there are no limits! Remember, everything started in somebody’s imagination. I believe if we take time to thoroughly define our Vision for our business venture, we can create an exciting guide for our Management strategy. The process would go like this.

Define your Mission, Values, and Vision. See highlighted links for basic direction.

“Only Vision allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. Tony Dungy

Here we will focus on the Vision that comes from your Mission and Values.

Some examples of great Visions are…

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.” – Southwest Air

“Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people.” – IKEA

“To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.” – McDonald’s

After you create your general Vision, take it a step further.

My suggestion is to clarify your Vision explicitly.


  • In 5 years, we will have 10 locations.
  • Our facilities will be bright, innovative and inviting.
  • We will offer customer comforts above others in the industry.
  • We will have 1,000 talented and creative employees.
  • We will provide the highest salaries in the industry.
  • We will own state of the art equipment in every area.
  • Our systems will be standardized and all employees will maintain and constantly   work to improve them.
  • We will be a leader in our industry in the areas of innovation and creativity.
  • We will engage in planning for additional locations.
  • We will have a 98% approval rating from employees and customers.
  • We will become a global competitor in the next 8 years.

Think radically, dream a enormous Vision. Let your mind take you far into the possibilities of the future. Be as specific as you possibly can when describing your future state.

If you thoroughly, and carefully carry out this Vision defining function for your business, you will have an astounding stimulant for your Management strategy. You will know exactly how your business will look in the future. Your Management strategy is how you will get there.

I’m sure you can already see how a definitive Vision will influence your daily business activities. Your Management strategy will flow directly from your Vision targets. You will be able to break each target into its doable components and see your Vision come to life. This will relieve a great amount of uncertainty because you have predefined anchors to measure your results by. Specific parts of your Vision may change because of business results, technological changes or environmental changes but you will have a logical base to start from. Go ahead. Build a legacy.

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu

Easy business building steps in “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”

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