It’s not colorful, show stopping, whimsical or glamorous, but it is one of the most important actions that your organization takes time and time again.  

Yes, I am talking about planning. Whether it be strategic, marketing, communications, development (the list goes on and on), planning is critical for the short-term and long-term success of any organization.

So, why do many organizations still desire only colorful creative executions with no planning involved?  

There are several reasons, but the main reason I run into is that the organization’s leadership believes it already knows the story and how the organization is perceived in the communities it serves. So, organizations all too often ignore the process and get to creative executions that look pretty.

I submit organizations need to be habitual planners and lead with the plan, follow with the execution. Plan and then do. Here are five reasons why organizations shouldn’t put executions before smart thinking and planning.

1) Creative execution without telling your organization’s unique story is simply information. However, identifying your organization’s competitive advantage, followed by execution, becomes a strategy. Planning enables you to say the right things to the right audience at the most opportune time. 

2) Budget wasted – we all know that budgets are precious – so why would your organization spend foolishly without the benefit of a plan? Organizations do it all the time!

3) Knowledge is powernew knowledge is transformational. Always asking, always probing, always having a conversation with your constituents will not only give your organization insight and knowledge, but new knowledge that could transform the future direction of your organization.

4) Doing things twice hurts… enough said.

5) Time is lost – not taking the time to plan sounds like a more expedient path, doesn’t it?  It’s not – see point #4.