SOURCE: Robert A. Simpkins, author

December 11, 2008 17:55 ET

Latest Book by Robert A. Simpkins Outlines What Companies Must Do to Build and Execute Contingency Plans to Stay Competitive

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - December 11, 2008) - Organizational consultant Robert A. Simpkins (www.robertsimpkinsbestsellers.com) recommends companies take a hard look at their contingency plans as a way to stay competitive and restore employee and customer confidence in this recessionary economy.

In his new book, "Not Another Pretty Binder! Strategic Planning That Actually Works," (co-authored by Behnaz S. Paknejad), Simpkins writes that one of the biggest mistakes in strategic planning is forgetting contingency plans in the final document. "In fact," he contends, "contingency planning might be the most important confidence builder an organization can have; it shows that the leadership has considered all possible impediments to success."

Among the two versions of contingency planning, he notes, is "Business Continuity" to help organizations withstand a man-made or natural disaster. An example is a plan for a bank to maintain communications and continue data transfer in the event of an earthquake.

Another form of contingency planning is "Uncertainty Planning" and is more relevant to the core of an organization's plans. This form considers various risks to the strategic plan. It answers questions such as how to assure the success of the plan if the stock market crashes, the competition introduces a newer and more superior product, labor decides to strike, key vendors fail to deliver critical components on time, or other possible scenarios.

According to Simpkins, here are the questions Strategic Planners should ask when creating contingency plans:

     1. What are the environmental drivers (both internal and external)
        that could negatively or positively impact the Action Plan
        components of the Strategic Plan?
     2. How can these drivers be measured to recognize trends and impact
        thresholds?
     3. For each of the Action Plans, what is the best-case, worst-case and
        most-likely-case result from the drivers reaching the impact
        threshold?

As Simpkins says, "Your Strategic Plan will always be wrong to some extent due to changes in the internal and external environment. That's exactly the reason to be proactive in developing contingency plans."

Robert A. Simpkins, president of Washington, D.C.-based Global Crosswinds, LLC, is an internationally acclaimed organizational adviser who has helped corporations, not-for-profit groups, government agencies and military leaders in 51 countries. A well-known international speaker and author, his books have been translated into multiple languages. His latest book, "Not Another Pretty Binder! Strategic Planning That Actually Works," was recently published by HRD Press. He can be reached at team@globalcrosswinds.com or at robertsimpkinsbestsellers.com.

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