Planning and Paradox

by Tim Berry

Business planning is full of paradox. Here are some interesting examples. Business plans are always wrong, but nonetheless vital. Wrong because they're predicting the future and we're human, we're fallible, so we don't get it right. Vital because we need... Read More »

10 Lies About Business Planning (Video)

by Tim Berry

Business plans are a waste of time? That’s a dangerous lie. Don’t bother, because nobody’s going to read it anyhow? That’s another lie, because it’s about running your company, not whether somebody else reads your document. The lies matter because they interfere with business planning, which ought to be part of your management. Planning is... Read More »

Is Your Business Either Growing or Dying?

by Tim Berry

True story: there were six of us at lunch together on a beautiful late spring day in 1996. We sat on an outside table in the shade and discussed the next big growth spurt. Would we take this marketing-on-steroids proposal, at a high cost? Would it work? Could we afford not to? I’m not sure... Read More »

Business Plan, Marketing Plan, or Both?

by Tim Berry

“if I have a marketing plan, do I need (or want) a business plan too?” Good question. And so is its opposite question too, “if I have a business plan, do I also need (or want) a marketing plan?” As for a lot of these planning questions, you’re going to get different answers from different... Read More »

Seth Godin on Rethinking Business Plans

by Tim Berry

It’s about time that business writers, assorted experts, entrepreneurs, academic and the rest start focusing on the huge damaging and wasteful misunderstanding that most of us have contributed to: that completely out-of-date idea that a business plan is a document, done once, related to raising money. So I’m delighted to see Seth Godin jumping onto... Read More »

Business Plans, Plan A vs Plan B. Real or Fiction

by Tim Berry

Very interesting talk from earlier this month on Stanford’s Ecorner. This is Randy Komisar, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as part of a one-hour talk built around his book Getting to Plan B. That’s a two-minute piece. Interestingly enough, it was followed immediately by an additional one-minute piece, called the Benefits of Mapping Plan... Read More »

Planning Fundamentals 5: Planning Is To Manage Change

by Tim Berry

(This is the fifth in a series of posts reviewing the fundamentals of planning, with an eye for how they’re changing over time. Part one was Form Follows Function. Part two was All Business Plans are Wrong. Part three was Cash Not Profits. Part four was Planning as Accountability) Some of the strongest and most pervasive myths about... Read More »

Planning Fundamentals 4: Its About Accountability

by Tim Berry

(This is the fourth in a series of posts reviewing the fundamentals of planning, with an eye for how they’re changing over time. Part one was Form Follows Function. Part 2 was All Business Plans are Wrong. Part 3 was Cash Not Profits.) I predict accountability is going to be an increasingly important issue as... Read More »

Planning Fundamentals 3: You Think in Profits, but You Live on Cash

by Tim Berry

(Note: This is part 3 of my planning fundamentals review. Here are the links to Part 1: Form Follows Function and Part 2: All Business Plans are Wrong.) Cash flow is the most important mystery you have to solve. Cash flow is the real heartbeat of business. And unfortunately, cash flow isn’t intuitive. It’s tricky.... Read More »

Planning Fundamentals 2: All Business Plans are Wrong, But Vital

by Tim Berry

(I posted most of this in 2007, but it’s even more important now) Business plans are always wrong. That’s because we’re human. Business plans predict the future. We humans are dismally inaccurate when predicting the future. Paradox: nonetheless, planning is vital. Planning means starting with the plan and then tracking, reviewing progress, watching plan vs. actual results,... Read More »