Thinking outside the box

Planning Approach Vs. Innovative Thinking

Posted on May 24th, 2012

Categories: Business, Management

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“But it’s not in the plan!” How many times have you found yourself saying this in business? After all, why bother putting a strategic or business plan together in the first place if you are not going to stick with it? Sure, it can be frustrating when your plans don’t match up with the reality of business circumstances. But ultimately, any successful business works in both a pro-active and reactive way, and to dismiss either pro-active business planning or responsive innovative thinking is going to do your business more harm than good.

In fact innovative thinking isn’t purely reactive and about responding to changes in business conditions – it is about providing a framework and being prepared for any eventuality. Your business planning can sit inside that framework, so that when the plan needs to change, you have the creativity and flexibility to make the appropriate changes confidently.

As well as helping you become more aware of changes that need to happen in your business, innovative thinking is also a practice that will help you to quickly identify business opportunities and threats. Whilst the planning process takes an x+y approach to business, with limited possibilities and results, the innovative thinker can peek outside of the box, allowing for myriad opportunities that go above and beyond the ordinary. Along with a good plan, it is the innovate thinkers of the business world that are invariably the market leaders; business success has never been and will never be about taking a rigid path.

This is not to say that there is not a place for planners in business, of course they’re important! Business planning and innovative thinking go hand in hand, they are salt and pepper, thunder and lightning. Plans will help you focus your business purpose and goals, and innovative thinking will keep you alert to the opportunities (and challenges) that may arise and changes that may need to be made to your plans along the way.

After all, the aim is not to simply ‘implement the plan’ or “make the plan work and fit” when there’s a change in business circumstances. Nor is it to be bound by the plan. It’s about working with the plan and to constantly think about strategy as you do it; a continuous innovative process.

We can help you to create the perfect business balance between planning and innovative thinking. Get in touch today to find out how Ascend Twentyone can unlock your business potential, leading to real results.


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