Management Corner

Four uncommon steps to planning


Planning is a basic part of management.

We use elements of planning every day as we prepare for various tasks. Preparatory thinking is planning how we accomplish large or small tasks.

The best of the best organizations make use of and continually assess and revise their planning.

Unfortunately, few businesses take planning seriously. In this article, I'll share a brief process of planning that can be used at work, home or for your life.

These four steps include fundamental and strategic considerations that are necessary in business and personal planning:

What is currently going on? List all the specific areas of your involvements, initiatives, products and services. Identify your groups of people, systems and strategies.

In my business, I have personal and business clients. I write articles and do research. My systems include computer, phone, printer and networks of people, businesses and educational institutions. My strategies include word-of-mouth marketing, advertising and the support, growth and development of people and organizations.

Identify needs, questions, concerns and ideas to improve. Are there areas to be eliminated or changed? What is your competition doing? Is what you are doing working?

Because I am retired, I am constantly balancing my work and personal areas of study, interests and recreation. I keep challenging myself to create new and meaningful articles.

Who am I?

This is a personal and professional question. What do I (or we) have to offer in terms of products, services and contributions to the community, society and humanity? This is about who you are as a person and how you connect with the intentions of your work or business.

"Who am I?" is not a typical planning question, yet it addresses a critical question of "fit" between yourself and your work . Are you as a person being true to your skills, attitude, alignment and interest? Is your business being true to its intention and purpose?

I am happy to say that all the jobs I have had, including my current business, have been and are enjoyable and aligned with who I am and my purpose in life. I am very fortunate and grateful. I wish this for everyone.

What are my (or our) values?

This question relates to the previous step, and the answer to it becomes the criteria to assess your past and create your future.

My values include: truth, family, friends, creating, accountability, health, team, relationships, music, love, humanity and spirituality.

What do you want to create in your life and work? At this point, take time to ponder your responses to the three previous questions. Identify three things that you want to create to accomplish your purpose in your life and your work.

I want to continue to focus, clarify and simplify how I use these four questions within my life and work.

Next Week: Steps to creating what you want.

Bernie Linnartz, of Empowerment Experts, is a consultant, coach and facilitator of individuals, teams, families and organizations. Comments, questions and suggested topics are welcome. Cell (575) 770-4712 or email