Why Preparing for the Unexpected is Essential

Afterburner Team Written by:
Afterburner Team

Consider this scenario: It’s December. You sat down with your team to strategize operations and develop goals for the upcoming year. You have an exact plan of how you’re going to get from point A to point Z and cross that finish line strong. But what happens when March hits and you’re hit with an unexpected curveball?

Are you preparing for the unexpected? In business, curveballs are going to happen. And planning is essential.

Preparing for the unexpected requires successful mission planning. We use the following 6 steps do so:

1. Determine the Mission Objective

A mission objective is not your Future Picture, it is something that you can go out and execute today. A good mission objective is clear, measurable, achievable, and most importantly, it must support the overall Future Picture of the organization.

2. Identify the Threats

To survive the rapidly changing environment of business, you have to identify and know what threats stand in your way, both internally and externally.

3. Identify Your Available Resources

Your available resources are people, money, systems, technologies, products, clients, time, known strengths, services, or skills of the team that will help you negate your threats and accomplish your mission objective.

4. Evaluate the Lessons Learned

Tap into the experiences of your team and apply those lessons that fit the mission. Lessons learned can be big or little, your experience, the group’s experience, or an experience from another company.

5. Determine Courses of Action/Tactics

Develop a menu of potential courses of action through the use of open planning to analyze and finalize a plan. Be sure to put some accountability around the tactic such as who will do what, and when, and assigning a Red Team to find weaknesses within the plan.

6. Plan for Contingencies

Preparation is the key to flexibility. Ask “what if” questions to brainstorm solutions for situations that could throw your plan off course. It’s easier to brainstorm action-item decisions during the planning process than to run into a situation ill-prepared.

These six steps will help you as you’re preparing for the unexpected in the coming year. If you aren’t sure where to start, let’s chat. We can work directly with you and your team to set goals and plan for the unexpected using our battle-tested process.