Just enough planning

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It’s time to think about next year. Will you draw up and plan and stick to it? Or will you simply go with the flow? A little bit of both is the best choice.

Planning can help you choose wise courses of action that will get the results you want. But we plan things when we know the least about them and the world around us is likely to change anyway. Sticking with a plan that inappropriate or simply doesn’t work is a recipe for frustration.

On the other hand, people who just go with the flow are usually the people who wind up asking, “How the heck did we get here?” Adapting without purpose is usually a waste of time.

The most successful people and businesses I’ve seen have mixed those two ideas so they wind up with just enough planning. Here’s how.

They know what their big goal is. It might be for a year or ten years or may not even have a specified deadline. They know where they want to finish. They know what they want to keep moving toward.

They plan for a much shorter period. Ninety days is common. They concentrate their efforts on achieving the goals they set for the shorter period.

At the end of that time, they reassess. They evaluate their performance and their strengths and weaknesses and the environment. Then they set goals for the next ninety days and get back to work.

This year, instead of the usual “stick with the plan or go with the flow’ choice, try a little bit of both. Pick a big goal, assess your current situation and plan for the next 90 days. Then reassess, plan and get to work again. Repeat until done.

For More

My thinking on this is strongly influenced by my work with Stephen Lynch.

For a little food for thought, read Mary Jo Asmus’ “Make a list of ‘to becomes.'”

For something different read my post titled: “The Planning Fairy.”

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