<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Find out where you can get a Taste of TAB... our global events blast is on!

The Alternative Board Blog

Find a Balance Between Agility and Planning

Feb. 21, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi


For many CEOs and business owners, there’s a delicate balancing act between maintaining an agile approach to leadership and adhering to the goals of a business plan.

Agility encompasses the need to stay flexible in the face of ever-changing market conditions. A business plan marks the organization’s best efforts to set an agreed-upon goal and the ways in which to achieve that goal over an established period of time.

At first blush, these may appear to be contradictory processes. However, savvy business leaders find a way to balance agility and planning to their companies’ benefits. If you face a similar challenge, here are some tips to keep in mind:


Always put the customer first.

Regardless of your company’s current and planned strategies for growth, it’s vital to “keep your customers at the heart of every business decision.” Applying a customer-centric approach helps maintain the focus on what your existing (and prospective) target audience needs and wants.

Understanding your customers through live-chats and other technology enables you to “account for the chance of potential customer problems and the space to address them,” notes InvoiceBerry. In this way, you are better-placed to “allocate resources to address their problems [so] your strategic goals will be better in line with customer satisfaction.”


Determine the best goal for your business.

Not knowing what the ultimate goal of planning is another “trap” for business owners and CEOs to watch out for. Determining the most important organizational objective is essential to remaining agile and effective.

“The key for agile plans is to develop them with the goal in mind and for a short period of time,” advises Brainhub. Refrain from setting “everything in stone during planning sessions [so] even if it turns out the plan needs to be changed and adjusted, the costs are acceptable or even insignificant.”


Use clear, easy-to-understand language in your plan.

As we have noted before, sometimes a business plan “doesn’t really add up in terms of its analysis, description of challenges, and potential solutions.” Therefore, in your efforts to balance planning and agility, avoid the use of overly complicated or convoluted wording. Make sure the plan’s language is straightforward and accessible to people throughout the organization.


Stay focused on the plan.

While an agile business plan must be adaptable to change, certain elements of that plan should remain intact.

Ongoing changes in plan components such as the company’s vision, mission, and cultural values “will negatively impact stability and lessen employee engagement,” notes Lilly Consulting Group. At the same time, “how you get to that desired result will likely need to change and evolve (typically, your goals, objective, strategies and tactics)” so stay open to “a more iterative approach at the execution level.”

In other words, be flexible in your methodology, while staying focused on the company’s higher goals.


Get your team actively involved.

Conventional business planning generally takes the form of “top to bottom,” with the company leader assuming business charge of the process and team members following their lead. But this approach isn’t always the most effective option.

For business agility and planning to achieve smooth integration, leaders “must invest more time and energy upfront to help the team understand the big picture and the organizational strategy,” notes Opensource.com. Empowering the team “to make adjustments and tradeoffs” will result in a plan that “dynamically changes to accommodate new learnings.” 


Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Lee Polevoi

Related posts

How Ethical Is Your Hiring Process?
Mar. 26, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
So you’re a business owner and you are pretty confident that your hiring process is both sound and ethical. After all, organizations today are bound by numerous laws and regulations that help ensure...
Is Being an Ethical Business Leader Really That Hard?
Mar. 13, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Business ethics is a tricky topic. First, very few owners or executives, even when acting outside of morality norms, actually believe they are conducting themselves unethically. To them, when faced...
How to Build an Ethical Workplace Culture
Mar. 6, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Most of us understand what it means to act in an ethical manner. CEOs and business owners frequently advocate a set of ethics by which to run their organizations, helping the workforce maintain a...
Unlearning Conformity: How to Overhaul Old Business Paradigms
Feb. 14, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Industry is evolving at a record pace, particularly in the post-pandemic era. While COVID lockdowns and shutdowns temporarily changed the way businesses operated and employees engaged, today’s...
How to Be an Agile Leader
Feb. 7, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
It’s altogether likely that business conditions in 2024 will be at least as tumultuous and unpredictable as they were in 2023. For that reason alone, it’s important to begin the process by which...
Goal-Setting Tips for Your Remote Work Team
Jan. 31, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Is there any difference between setting goals for your on-site team and your remote workforce? Certainly, there are striking familiarities. For example, whether employees work in-house or are...
How to Cultivate a "Goal-Focused" CEO Mindset
Jan. 17, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
The coming of a new year is the best time to re-think the past year’s professional and personal goals and start cultivating new goals for the weeks and months ahead. Of necessity, this means...
Top 3 Strategic Musts for the Coming Year
Jan. 11, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The first quarter of the year always seems to have business owners dreaming a little bigger, reaching a little higher, and planning innovative ways to improve their organizations in the ensuing...