Planning

A periodic process of review and preparation for the future

Too often planning is ad hoc and vague, something to tick a box to be able to say it’s done but then never spoken of again.In the day to day struggle, planning can easily become tactical and short term, an extension of execution rather than what it should be; a periodic process of review and preparation for the future. The Scale-up Methodology has three elements to the planning phase; Strategy, Talent and Organisation. We see this as an iterative cycle where clarity of strategy is both supported and informed by investment in talent and organisation.

 

Strategy

Frogs’ definition of strategy: “A competitive game-plan to achieve an important goal” Particularly during the scale-up phase, where a degree of product market fit has already been established, strategy is not about selling a vague market opportunity but rather combining a clear view of addressable market with a robust plan of action as to how this can be exploited. More importantly, identifying the unique resources and attributes your company has (and will need) to thrive in that environment.

 

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Talent

Talent is where planning and execution intersect.  Good people will of course help you to execute better, but if they have the right quality and seniority they will also be involved in shaping strategy through bringing challenging views to planning sessions. We champion developing a culture, organisation and HR approach to nurture and continually assess talent at all levels.  As a CEO, your optimal team for the challenge will change over the years. Recognising this fact is essential, as is having an approach to assessing performance, addressing competence gaps and spotting early the need to make a step change and take tough people decisions. A strong senior team is essential to share the burden of responsibility for seeing and delivering the vision that can otherwise become oppressive on the CEO.

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Organisation

Good organisation starts from the top and changes in the board are likely to be the most obvious initial differences when growth capital is taken on. Whilst we add value through our Frog representative on the board, we also encourage a wider review of what skill sets are required (for a new chairman for example) at that level and what the processes should be.  The board should be a huge asset to the business and where this isn’t the case, you either have the wrong people on it or you aren’t getting the best value out of them. At the executive level, organisational clarity from the top drives business discipline and accountability through all levels, ensuring a consistent approach of rigorous follow-up on previously set targets or projects. This is not about blame but learning and improving every year.

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If you're interested in how Frog can support your scale-up business, please contact us.

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