As you tackle the business planning process for the year, there are some fundamental personalities differences that you need to keep in mind to make the process as efficient and effective as possible. The key areas to be considered are:

1.Preparation for the business planning meeting.
2.The business planning meeting itself.
3.Development of strategies and action plans.
4.Ongoing management of the business plan.

For large organizations, the information will focus on understanding the different approaches taken by each personality. By understanding each team member's workplace personality roles, appropriate responsibilities can be assigned that let each team member demonstrate their skills. Dividing responsibilities along workplace personality guidelines can make the process more enjoyable, as individuals will get to play to their strengths.

For smaller organizations, a review of the different strengths each personality can bring will allow you to reflect on approaches that are not present on your team, allowing you to challenge the group to ensure all approaches are considered. The resulting plan will benefit by being more comprehensive.

For structure-oriented workplace personalities, the opportunity to review lots of data and develop a detailed plan for the coming year is a task they can really connect with. The annual business planning process can be a great opportunity to showcase their natural skills and talents.

These are the key preferences for those with structure-oriented personalities:
•Fact and logic based discussions.
•Reflection on the past to help define the plan for the future.
•Productive use of time - if something isn't broken don't fix it, focus on other opportunities.
•A focus on tangible action plans that are achievable and measurable.

For action-oriented workplace personalities, the business planning process is likely perceived as a necessary evil. Intellectually, this personality type understands the value of planning, but the actual mechanism and process is to be endured and completed as quickly as possible to get on with the actual running and making of the business.

These are the key preferences for those with action-oriented workplace personalities:
•Creative and intuition based discussions.
•Look to what can be done, not what has been done.
•Focus on tangible action plans that can be met and surpassed.

For logic-oriented workplace personalities, the business planning process is a great opportunity to showcase their skills to challenge the status quo, to reflect on the year, and really work through the root causes of issues and opportunities.

These are the key preferences for logic-oriented workplace personalities:
•Focusing on relevant facts and logic based discussions.
•Looking for optimal solutions, not just "good enough" options.
•Taking complex challenges and breaking them down to manageable elements.

For people-oriented workplace personalities, the business planning process is a great opportunity to showcase their skills to facilitate, mediate and inspire the team to look for holistic and meaningful plans for the year. These are the key preferences for people-oriented workplace personalities:
•An informal process that allows the individuals to be authentic and spontaneous.
•Thorough evaluation of both the tasks required and the human potential required to deliver results.
•Full engagement from all participants.

Reflecting on your own preferences, strengths and challenges can make you a more effective team member and help produce a comprehensive business plan.


Author's Bio: 

Lynn is a partner at Conundrum Adventures, a team building company that delivers high quality experiential team building to the corporate market.

Lynn has held executive positions at a variety of organizations. They include EVP of a dot-com start up responsible for vendor relationship management, technology and consulting to VP Global Sourcing for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Throughout her career she has demonstrated the ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve excellent results. Lynn draws on her experience to effectively facilitate team discussions to find creative solutions to the most challenging problems. Lynn holds an HBA and an MBA degree from the Ivey Business School.