Yesterday, we had our Annual Meeting. No, not of one of the large, public corporations I have been affiliated with but, with our Florida Homeowners Association. At this same time Pope Benedict decided to retire, so the Catholic  Cardinals are convening with the plan or objective to elect a new Pope. And, our U.S. government is about to have another fiscal issue with something called a sequester.  That’s why I decided to write this week’s post about one of my favorite topics–Planning.

I know you are thinking-homeowners associations or churches don’t plan or need to plan. And our  President and Congress don’t seem to want to Plan, at least not together.  But everyone needs to Plan.  Individuals, businesses, not for profits and, yes,  even governments.

A Plan provides you with a base case or a reference so you can judge when things get out of control. This is why smart, healthy people have their blood pressure checked regularly and have an annual physical exam with blood workup. Organizations need this type of baseline as well.

For example, most states require that a Homeowners or Condo group have an Annual Meeting and review their operating results and a budget for next year. Most states further require these groups to project their future common repairs such as painting or a new roof and provide cash reserves to buildup to deal with these items. By default, I am President of Two of these Condo type organizations and I can assure you, We Plan!

But what exactly do we mean by the term Planning?

Planning is everywhere and sometimes, everything. In our personal world, we plan our days, struggle to plan our careers and try in vain to plan our children’s choices and lives. In business, Planning may be even more critical and it is constant. Digital devices allow or force us to schedule our time in fifteen minute intervals. Software now easily accommodates almost ongoing forecasts of sales,  cash or departmental expenses that we used to struggle with.

Some people might wonder if, in our current age of unlimited, endless and often rapidly available data, we even need to plan. After all, our iPhone or even a new Lexus Enform system can give us an instant list of restaurants and make reservations for us with no required preplanning or thought. At work our laptop or tablet computer can keep us linked, to our business and to hundreds of emails on a 24/7 basis whether we want to be linked or not. So do we really need to plan?

OF COURSE, WE DO! In both the Planning  and  Mergers and Deals sections of my book, The Business Zoo, we will show what good Planning can help you accomplish and bad Planning can help you avoid.

And since a number of this blog’s readers have asked about the Book’s status, I will tell you that this week we have submitted a Business Proposal to a small number of the major publishers of business books. This took quite a bit of Planning and time. We will keep you informed. Meanwhile thanks for joining me on this journey through my blog, bradszootales!