Plan to Perform and Grow

Leadership teams that are on track to reach their potential to perform and grow have:

  • A written, board-approved financial plan that shows revenue, direct costs, gross margin, indirect costs by function (e.g., marketing, sales, HR, R&D, etc.), and operating profit (i.e., EBITDA),  by month and quarter for the year. Approved financial plans tend to have the following characteristics:
    • Smooth (or otherwise rational) ramp-up (or down) of revenue and costs from the prior year closing month and quarter.
    • Generally upward-trending scale (i.e., ever bigger and better).
    • A 75% chance of being achieved by the in-place team with roughly 2/3 of planned revenue either booked or highly-probable (B&HP) and a highly-qualified pipeline of prospective, current year, revenue equal to three times the gap between B&HP and Plan (and not all in the last quarter or two!).
    • Identified upside-downside potential with mitigation strategies on the downside and what will be done to take full advantage of any upside.
    • Assumptions and triggers that explain what has to happen for planned results to occur and for planned expenses to be made.

  • An operating plan that covers:
    • Whose problem the organization solves, how it solves it, and how well compared to peers, prior years and plans.
    • A labor plan including sourcing, developing, managing, and deploying personnel consistent with the financial plan.
    • A market description and market development plan.
    • A product (or equivalent) development road-map.
    • Do-Sell-Grow systems of operations and governance.
    • Three-to-seven initiatives to improve performance and drive growth; including who will lead each and the associated budget, work-plan, targeted results, metrics of performance, and communications plan.
  • A leadership team of from 3 to 7 who:
    • Are clear about who the team counts on for what (i.e., leadership roles and performance goals).
    • Are driven to achieve or exceed plan by an incentive program.
    • Routinely share with each other what is working and what each can do to improve.
  • track record of consistently achieving planned performance.


Take just one-minute to fill out the self-assessment below (best done on your computer instead of your phone) to see if you, your team, and your organization are on track. The assessment is self-scoring and includes an answer key. You can also use the form to have us to get in touch to share our thoughts on the best answers and on how your team stacks up, at no cost or obligation.

REMEMBER: We never share your data.


Executive Incentive Compensation Programs

Solution Development Framework

Account Development

Sample Operating Framework

Revenue Projections

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