This is a common statement in discussions about strategic planning or coaching. It goes like this: “I see why others might need this, but things are going well, so I think I’m going to pass.”

When you “pass” on strategic planning or coaching, quite frankly, you just might be putting your organization at risk. There are a couple of reasons for this:

–The research by Jim Collins on this, from How the Mighty Fall, is pretty clear that the first step in failing, is taking it easy when things are going well. Leaders start to assume that because things are going well, they must be doing things well, and therefore things will continue to go well. It’s kind of like saying, “We’re good so we do good things and we’ll succeed.” Rather you should be saying, “We’re doing well because we have done good things, so we need to keep doing good things to get the results we want. What’s the next set of good thing we need to do.”

–The data on your results might be misleading you in a  false sense of security.  We tend to look only at results which are backward looking.  A good strategic plan gets you looking forward, not just a desired results, but on the activities that need to be implemented to deliver them.

–You might currently be “the last gas station before the desert” which means you haven’t had to be strategic before.  Guess what, with today’s disruptive technologies and shifting economy, that desert is moving on you.

So think about whether strategic planning/coaching is one of your regular habits.  Or whether they should be.

The very best organizations in the world have strategic plans and the best leaders have coaches.  They don’t think it’s a luxury.