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Stop Planning And Do Something!

A couple of years ago I read a small book called REWORK, that fundamentally changed the way I thought about a whole list of business activities and decisions. The book was radical and out there, but it made a lot of sense, especially in identifying how much time we spend on things that are irrelevant and take us nowhere.

The authors of the book, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, really threw the cat amongst the pigeons especially in the area of Strategic Planning.

They say that the Face of Strategy development is changing, and that most of our goals and answers will not be found in spending copious amounts of time writing strategic plans, using old information, but in fact doing something, and then learning as we go.

So, here are some of the things that they say about strategy and planning. You may not agree with them all, but if they make you think, then that is a good start.

  1. It’s ok to wing it.
  2. Unless you’re a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy.
  3. The timing of long-range plans is screwed up too. You have the most information when you’re doing something, not before you’ve done it. Yet when do you write a plan? Usually it’s before you’ve even begun. That’s the worst time to make a big decision.
  4. Why don’t we just call plans what they really are, guesses.
  5. Plans let the past drive the future.
  6. Sometimes you need to say, “We’re going in a new direction because that’s what makes sense today.”
  7. Standing for something isn’t just writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it.
  8. Estimates that stretch weeks, months and years into the future are fantasies. The truth is you just don’t know what’s going to happen that far in advance.

I love this book because it made me look at so many of the preconceived ideas that I had been taught and truly challenged how strategically relevant I am. 

As Australian author, Peter Sheahan says, “Action precedes Clarity”.

It is certainly worth thinking about in this time of fast paced business practice.

 

Des Penny - Co-CEO
Proteus Leadership

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