Today’s topic is a pragmatic one – a reminder for leaders who do some type of strategic planning in their organizations. (And I hope that’s most of you!) As you know, I am a huge proponent of planning, in all its various forms within the dynamic life of organizations. In a nutshell, planning is taking the time and having the discipline to ask fundamental questions, reserving judgement and decision-making until the necessary analyses and creative alternatives have been explored, and engaging the people who later will be responsible for carrying out the plans.
Food for Thought ~
My reminder for you today is that implementation is the key to success in planning. No matter how brilliant, bold, or visionary your plan may be, the actual realization of it lies in its execution. Viewed as a mathematical formula, it would be “strategy + execution = success.” (Actually, the “formula” for success is more complicated, but for this purpose, we’ll keep it simple.) A further reminder is that the implementation phase itself must also be planned. Any substantive plan usually requires thoughtful discussions of priorities, resource allocation, timelines, accountability, communication, coordination and the consideration of secondary implications. As one of my clients likes to say, “It’s a process, not an event.”
Question for the day ~
Have you ever created a plan that wasn’t successful? Was your attention to implementation as diligent as your planning?