2020 has been the year that the best-laid plans were disrupted on a scale never seen before.
No-one could have predicted the pandemic and its effect on organisations across the globe; indeed, we are still yet to see what the full results could bring.
We are in a time of critical business change.
Executives and business decision-makers have had to go back to the drawing board with many of their 2020 plans. But the question remains – how do we plan for the future when the future has proven to be uncertain?
In today’s blog, we look at the difference between planning and decision-making and how to get the best out of both in a post-pandemic world.
The Crucial Difference Between Plans and Decisions
Strategic planning is an invaluable tool for many tech and cybersecurity businesses, and for companies who get it right, it can add untold amounts to their bottom line.
But strategic planning has its limits which the pandemic has exposed.
Even before the pandemic, there was increasing scepticism towards strategic planning in many organisations, specifically the organisations that make plans and revisit them once a year. Your strategic plan needs to be a working document, something that is revisited continually and updated in line with the progress of the business and the people within it.
The main disadvantages of strategic planning are -
- The process can be complex, especially in tech organisations with many departments which deal with disruptive technologies – things often move on in a faster timeframe than the strategic plan allows for.
- The process is time-consuming. It requires executives and employees to be on the same page, continually reviewing and reworking systems and processes.
- Strategic plans can be difficult to implement when your workforce is expanding, and roles within the organisation are changing.
And the pandemic has added an extra layer of complications to strategic planning.
The Downside to Strategic Planning in a Post-Covid World
How confident can you be that your tech or cybersecurity business is going to be in the place you expect in 12 months?
Covid-19 has accelerated changes in the tech sector that were going to happen anyway, meaning that new and disruptive technology is being adopted and implemented at an accelerated rate.
There are ways to improve your strategic plan in light of Covid disruptions, as highlighted in this recent McKinsey article
. They are-
- Find out the depth of the disruption Covid has caused to your business
- Consider the maximum length that the disruption could last
- Anticipate the shape of your recovery – do you expect a quick bounce back or does the pandemic cause the disruption to your sector or your business so deep that it’s going to be a long recovery
Of course, it is still early days in the wake of the pandemic and what is needed right now is decisive and successful decision making. Let’s look at how to make better decisions in your tech business.
Three Steps to Better Decision-Making
The following are three steps to making better decisions in your payment tech business.
1. Make Decision-Focused Plans
For every business decision you make, ask yourself if this plan is going to drive positive decision-making in your company.
Your choices should be focused on growth and moving the company forward, especially during this highly disruptive time we find ourselves in – the time for playing it safe is over.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Flex
As I mentioned earlier, many businesses make a plan once a year and only review it annually. With such rapid changes happening in our sector, the ability to flex is going to be essential.
Don’t be afraid to change plans, to revisit your strategy and to admit when something you try doesn’t go to plan.
3. Focus on the New
Now is such an exciting time in our sector. Customer intelligence and world-beating UX design, the cloud gaining even more traction and companies accelerating their need to pivot means that the coming 12 months are going to be full of innovation
Now is the time to create new products, to capitalise on the innovation happening in the sector and to expand your services for our new post-pandemic and digitally-focused world.
If you want to stop making plans that never come to fruition and start making the decisions that will transform your business, we can help.
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