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Financial and economic cataclysms have a way of uncovering chinks in the armor. For years, most companies ran business planning as a rote annual exercise that was cumbersome, time-consuming, and devoid of enthusiasm. The recent crisis revealed the vulnerabilities: Volatile, complex, and fast-moving business markets have rendered the traditional approach to planning obsolete. It's bad enough that managers haven't prepared for market changes; worse still that they give investors poor guidance. Investor discontent may spur action. Leading companies now are pursuing a more effective and dynamic planning approach, one that makes real-time adjustments based on external factors, uses sophisticated analytics to improve the allocation of capital and resources, and broadens the planning perspective to include intangible investments and investor expectations.
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