If you find you're too busy to do the strategic planning your company needs, you might want to listen to Neal Patterson, chairman and CEO of Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner Corp. It was when Cerner was doubling revenues about every 45 weeks that Patterson said, "Whoa, I need to preserve some time to think."
He now schedules a weekly two-hour session to "talk to himself." He prefers to do it early in the morning -- "when my mind is uncluttered" -- and away from the office, so he won't be interrupted.
"This isn't fill-in work between appointments," Patterson says, "yet that's how too many executives treat it. That can get a company in trouble."