Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Which best describes your organization when it comes to planning?

Which best describes your organization when it comes to planning?
(Image credit: SmartBrief)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

 Which best describes your organization?

  • We are meticulous planners, and things always run smoothly: 4.31%
  • We plan well but have an occasional crisis: 48.93%
  • We try to plan, but crises tend to run our lives: 34.46%
  • There’s no planning, and we’re in perpetual crisis: 12.30%

Crisis of the day. Almost half of respondents report living from crisis to crisis. Many of these crises are likely avoidable either through better planning or more effective decision making. Pausing occasionally to look into the future and plan for possible scenarios can help you be ready to react when a crisis comes up. Or, better yet, figure out ways to minimize the likelihood of a crisis by making different decisions today.

Many crises are also likely self-inflicted. Making decisions without fully playing out their ramifications in the future can result in these situations. A little bit of planning goes a long way. Sure, it’s hard to carve out time to do it, but consider the tradeoff of not doing it is a crisis down the road that will consume much more time and energy than the planning itself would. A regular strategic pause and plan mindset can help you avoid crises and reduce the amount of stress your organization deals with every day.


Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN — the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”