All organisations moan about their planning rounds.

Some say they want a clear process, some say they want a simple target; everyone wants more resources – and there’s the rub. As I often say, the truth is: human beings go to war for resources.

So not surprising then that anyone battling the annual planning round, especially in the dark days of winter would wish for a better way… The Specialist-Generalist’s job (and especially the COO’s) is to gently encourage everyone to keep on keeping on.

As I put it to a colleague this week:

“I’d keep your powder dry. There is no way to take away the annual planning round pain or target setting.

All organisations have them – like the seasons of the farming year; you can’t escape them, all you can do it live with the angst, irritation and occasional anger.

Like last year you’ll never get full sign off on a forward plan, only tacit and conditional acceptance with the reserved right to move the goalposts.

It’s hard, but that’s what you have to do is selectively ‘soak up’ and judiciously allow to ‘show through’ target shenanigans to the troops for best effect (and treat yourself to the occasional vent). And like the stoical farmer take the annual weather, triumphs and setbacks as part of the natural cycle of the year.

Planning, performance reviews, the Christmas rush, financial year end; there are unavoidable seasons in the working year. It’s always best to keep ploughing, planting, picking and above all smiling whatever the weather down on the farm.


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