How has your business shifted since the last time you wrote your strategic plan?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How has your business shifted since the last time you wrote your strategic plan?

  • Not at all: We're right on plan: 6%
  • A little: The plan is mostly intact: 32%
  • A bunch: Parts have held but others haven't: 32%
  • A ton: The strategic plan is out the window: 16%
  • What's a strategic plan?: 13%

No plan survives first contact. Almost half of you have had major shifts to your strategic plan. That’s not unheard of. Markets move quickly and plans are constructed in states of ambiguity. What’s most important is your ability to anticipate and react to those shifts. Invest time in conducting a strategic plan update to account for these changes. For the scary 13% who don’t have a strategic plan, insist on creating one. Don’t fall into a “budget +10% is our plan” trap. You can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going. A leader’s job is to define that path.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box," and "The Elegant Pitch."