In the run up to Christmas not much thought is given to that period of time beyond 26th December – however, from a business perspective it looks like the clouds are lifting and regardless of whether you like the outcome or not the future is coming into focus. There will be a new president in the US and it looks like Brexit will be triggered at the end of the first quarter.
The only point in time that we will ever be able to identify what exactly that means is after it all over. However, we do now have some form of framework in which we can start planning our next strategic steps. The detailed planning however remains difficult. How many units, how much revenue, what rate of growth are all questions that are difficult to answer and this if course raises the issue of control within the business.
A budget or plan that measures performance against a target that does not match reality can result in lost opportunity and frustration in the business. Perhaps then, we need to accept that whilst the detail remains elusive, the broad path forward is becoming clearer. In this context is may become more important than to focus on satisfying principles that will ultimately result in customer retention and expanded customer life cycles and not over focus on situations where 'actual' vs 'budget' results in a variance.
This will be a challenge for companies since principles are often harder to measure and report on. However, hard does not mean we shouldn't try.