Wonder Woman
by Malu Dy Buncio
 
During my days as a corporate warrior at Avon, one of my brothers nicknamed me “Wonder Woman”.  For those of you who did not grow up during the 80s, Wonder Woman was a TV series starring Lynda Carter, a female with superhero abilities.  My brother nicknamed me “Wonder Woman” not because I had superhero abilities and definitely not because I looked like Lynda Carter (only in my dreams) but because he was always wondering where I was.  I was always travelling to attend meetings locally and internationally. 

Today as a retired woman, some of my friends continue to call me Wonder Woman, not because they wonder where I am but because I have so many activities.  I train as a competitive dancer in three dance disciplines (ballroom, latin and argentine tango), which requires me to practice 4 hours a day; I cook commercially as my husband and I have a stall at the Legaspi Sunday Market and I am also a consultant for Mansmith and Fielders.  I also enjoy travelling with my husband and friends.

So how do I manage to do all these activities?  With planning.  Quite a bit of planning. Continuous planning.

It all starts with what you want to achieve.  What are your objectives?  I have decided what I want to achieve in my ‘portfolio’ of activities.  I understand what I want to achieve as a competitive dancer.  I know what the role of commercial cooking is in my scheme of activities.  I understand the value and purpose of my role as a consultant for Mansmith and Fielders. 

It requires knowing your priorities.  Based on my objectives, I have decided my priorities.  I understand what I can realistically achieve in a day, in a week and if I want to add more activities, I have to plan way in advance.

It requires resource reallocation.  Competitive dancing is a very expensive sport and I’m competing in three dance disciplines, so it required major resource reallocation.  Good bye designer items, good bye major jewelry purchases, hello dance lessons, hello dance costumes.

It requires strategy.  I note in advance when my competition schedules, travel schedules, cooking deadlines, consulting projects are and plan accordingly.

I am a unit of one and I plan.   Which leads me to the question of who should plan?  Who would benefit from planning?  Based on my personal experience, in the corporate world and in my retired life, everyone benefits from planning.  It focuses your activities, focuses your energy, and focuses your resources. 

If you don’t plan, you cause yourself unneeded stress.  When you plan, you come to understand what you can or cannot realistically do.  And if it is unrealistic and it still remains a priority, planning allows you to strategize how to achieve that goal or to create a fallback plan.
Large organizations benefit because generally large organizations often are afflicted with the silo mentality and begin to forget the reasons why they are in existence and focus on the internal, departmental activities.

Small organizations benefit because generally small organizations are stressed due to lack of resources (financial and manning) and by planning can more clearly understand what their priorities are.

Medium organizations benefit because they are in transition from operating as a small organization and are trying to learn how to change ‘small organization’ processes to new processes that can support the larger organization.

How sophisticated or formal does a planning session have to be?  Many people are afraid of Strategic Planning because it seems complicated and highfaluting.  It can be complicated.  It can be highly intellectual. It can be all framework and charts. BUT it can also be practical and accessible to all members of the organization.  In my opinion, that is the best kind of strategic planning.  Thoughtful.  Practical. 

Actionable. Simple.  Attend my upcoming seminar on Strategic Planning and understand how planning can be thoughtful, practical and actionable.
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Malu Dy Buncio is the Chief Business Development Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, the only advocacy-based training and consultancy firm focused on marketing, sales, strategy and innovation. She is a seasoned corporate executive, Asia Pacific Agora Awardee, entrepreneur and business consultant with strategic planning and direct selling as her focus. She is also available for private consultation and facilitation of planning sessions. For feedback, write to
mentors@mansmith.netor log on to www.mansmith.net, for more information.