Time critical to planning says DTI

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has published research that suggests British businesses are missing out on improving productivity gains "because time pressures are making business planning take a back seat."

The research suggests nearly 95% of the business managers and directors recognise that investing more time in day-to-day planning would improve overall business performance. And although 90% of businesses admitted to spending less

than two hours each week on business planning with almost a quarter of these saying they simply don't have enough time in the week to plan properly.

Eighty-four percent of businesses "are worried that they are not able to spend enough of their time planning to improve their business in a more proactive way."

Andy Poulton, DTI Best Practice champion sai...

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Oxymoron
As it happens I do agree with the learned gentleman from the DTI. However, I do wish that government departments (whether DTI, Treasury, IR or whatever) would not lecture businesses on things they are pathetic at themselves.

On a more positive note, the powerful way to start any planning process is a good old SWOT Analysis, followed by a Key Points Analysis. Involve others if possible - the view of employees or colleagues (or accountants) often gives an alternative view (avoids wood, trees and all that).

Not quite zen, but it does concentrate the mind.

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Plan as the Persians once did

Always make sure you plan like the ancient Persians once did:

1)Make the plan sober
2) Next day make the plan when drunk
3) Evaluate both plans and see which one makes more sense.

It worked for them - for a couple of hundred years anyway.

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Daydream
The quickest planning tool I know is a window.

Go stand by one.

Take an issue that needs resolving with you in your head.

Look out of it for three minutes.

Ignore everything else but the distance (even if it's a brick wall) and the problem.

Go back to your desk.

Write down what you now think about the issue that needed to be planned.

It won't be a perfect solution.

But it's better than none.

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