If planning is so crucial, why do some managers chose not to do it? 

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Some managers are poor at managing. They do not have much experience in the day-to-day actions of the business, so they do not understand things like seasonal fluctuations in sales or staffing needs. Some of the best managers work their way to the top of a company in order to understand how each department works. These managers have real-world experience in running their organizations.

Some managers micromanage aspects of the business so much that they do not see longer-term goals. This may happen in a short-staffed organization where a manager has to take on the role of one or several hourly employees. While the manager is getting work done, he/she is not paying attention to the organization's long-term needs. This may also lead to manager burnout if he/she feels as though his/her hard work is not helping the business. A burned out manager may also be inattentive to the organization's long-term needs.

Some managers may also simply lack experience. They may become paralyzed with too many directives from higher up the corporate ladder. Likewise, they may also have their own methods of planning that are not helpful to that particular business. In the event of an inexperienced manager, well-trained experienced subordinates can help him/her plan. Given time, the inexperienced manager will become successful if he/she is willing to learn from those who have been at the company for a while.

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Part of the reason that managers (or owners) fail to plan adequately for a business is because running a business is complex and requires lots of different types of planning in order to succeed.

Consider a manager who must staff all shifts adequately. While she believes she has planned for this, three employees contact her with a flu diagnosis and inform her that they will miss several days of work. The manager begins to shift planning, dedicating more time to filling these now empty time slots and fails to plan for the supplies which need to be ordered for next week's production. Unexpected events that interrupt even the best plans can impact business plans in other areas.

Planning also requires great insight into what the company needs. Managers are expected to evaluate the needs of the company, the mission it espouses, and the projected outcomes based on current company functioning. If a manager doesn't have the experience or foresight to evaluate her specific company's needs, it can lead to poor planning.

Sometimes managers fail to plan adequately because they don't value the insights of their subordinates. Those working on the "front lines," so to speak, often see needs that managerial staff cannot. If managers do not value these contributions and instead adopt an egotistical mindset, they may miss crucial information that could help them better plan better in specific situations.

Good managers are trained in the specific needs of their companies, are given time to evaluate various areas of planning needs, and stay in touch with their subordinates to determine how planning needs to be modified over time.

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The main reason that some managers fail to plan is the same reason that some people eat more than is healthy for them or that they fail to exercise.  That is, many people like to take the easiest path rather than the path that is best for them in the long term.  This appears to be a flaw in our human nature.

Business planning can be difficult.  It takes time and it takes mental effort.  Therefore, it is not always the most fun thing to do.  In addition, there are times when it does not seem necessary.  If you do not plan, your business does not fail on the spot any more than you die instantly from not exercising.  Therefore, it can seem that there is no point in planning at any given moment.  The gains from planning, and the losses from failing to do so, are not apparent until later.

Some managers fail to plan, then, because it is easier not to plan and the consequences of a failure to plan are not experienced right away.

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