Without operational plans our operational teams and we as managers work in a continuous fire-fighting mode. Reactively we cope with one obstacle after the other, continuously multi-tasking. This is the least efficient and effective mode of leadership.
Right operational plans (our surfboards) have a few features in common: they address constraints, are organized as causal trees and are represented on one single page.
Again a bold statement: top-down planning does not result in the best plans for all units of a company. Instead, we must set goals top-down, and design operational plans bottom-up.
In the framework of operational leadership business plans define the vital few, key operational projects which will bring our business system to the operational goal.
To deliver that purpose the (operational) business plan must follow five rules, explained and discussed in SURF THE WAVES OF OPPORTUNITY in detail:
The business plan must address all obstacles we expect to hinder us from achieving our operational goal.
To do so, research your entire business ecosystem element by element to reveal these obstacles.
Follow Tilman's principle: "An expedition, which cannot organize itself on one page of normal letter paper, suffers from over-organization and will not succeed"
Our position: top-down planning will result in weak or even useless business plans for company units. In the book we discuss this point and how it effects operational business plans for business units in detail.