The Missing Link in Planning – “How We Must Change”

If You continue to Do What You‘ve Always Done,

you’ll continue to Get What You’ve Always Gotten

– Henry Ford et al.

Crafting strategy and preparing plans for your organization to prosper and grow should be a focused and disciplined process. It requires completing several critical steps (clarifying your vision, mission, goals, etc.) to make it feasible. However, a step that seldom appears in such a process – the missing link – is answering “How we must change”. As the above quote suggests, if you want to achieve better (different) results, you must do something differently – and that requires change. Here are three areas to answer “How we must change”:

1. Change You – If your plan is robust and meaningful, you will more than likely have to change something about you in order to accomplish it. Start by looking in the mirror and evaluate your beliefs and behaviors. Ask “can I do better?”, “what can I do differently?”, “what’s the flip-side of my strengths?”.  It doesn’t have to be a big change – little things can make a big difference! A simple “follow through on …”, or “stop doing …” can create the focus needed for executing your plan.

2. Change Your Team Expectations – Hey, if you need to change in order to achieve your company’s big bold goals, so does your team. Ask them what they will do differently to support the strategy and plan. Let them know you will help them (tactically, not simply conceptually) with their changes; but that you also expect them to deliver change (new attitudes, behaviors and results). When setting new expectations be sure to emphasize the we in “how we must change”.

3. Change the Process – Now that you’re all on the same page (caution: if everyone isn’t, another change may be in order…) it’s time to change the status quo. Get rid of bureaucratic roadblocks that always slow down progress. Establish new procedures that accelerate the acquisition of new tools and training for plan execution. Accept that temporary pain for long-term gain is a worthwhile trade-off.

Stepping out of your comfort zone to address “how we must change”, may be the most important step in your planning process. But remember, somewhere, somehow, someone … has to do something differently to attain better results – to achieve your plan – to change! And that starts with you …

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