Preparing for 2018

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting the Tower leadership team for one of our regular strategy review sessions. The theme was “Preparing for 2018.” Now, this may seem a bit premature since we are only in November now. Yet, I learnt during the last two years that being prepared is the only currency in this tough market.

Let me put things in perspective. We are having a brilliant 2017. My team performed in a way that makes me proud to be their leader. It is one of those years that, when it happens, you just smile and wave. In reviewing the numbers, it struck me that doing well in 2017 was no accident. In November 2016, I called my leaders together and laid out the strategy and plans for 2017. There was much scepticism and they must have believed their CEO had gone mad. Now, a year later, we have exceeded all our plans and I know it was all down to planning and planning early for success

And this year the scepticism has been replaced with active strategy planning. As a leadership team, we have resolved to prepare for 2018 in a way that makes success inevitable. As a team, we have realised that our success lies in the strength of our leadership team. Our planning has improved, our execution has improved and our resolve has increased. And all of that due to learning improved planning techniques. As a company, we naturally have plans and execute those plans. As an organisation that is 37 years old, we have well-developed ways to plan.

But, in November 2016 we resolved that we were going to make it “higher-grade” and spent considerable time building our skill in planning and execution. The difference has been so great that I wanted to share it with the business community. We all do planning, but, how effective is that planning? And that is why we now plan for success. And we start early. As a leadership team, we have learnt the importance of planning and it has become an integral part of our daily lives.

Sure, we make mistakes. And lots of them. And it is our rigorous planning that keeps us focused during the times when things are tough. As a company, we have learnt how important the word preparation really is. That is why we are already focused on 2018, even as we celebrate our successes.