Won’t you email me your master plan? You think it’s loud and clear but I don’t understand.Jimmy Buffett
We are creatures of planning. We make lists when headed for the grocery store, we create vacation itineraries, and we make sure we have everyone covered at Christmas. We do this all to create clarity. Plans serve as road maps and God knows we need to figure out how to get places.
During a recent Zoom call with a client, they were explaining a part of a project; it was a plan that obviously was clear to everyone on the call, except me. I tried to jump in a couple of times but they were in bulldozer mode, powering through what they thought was a clear as proverbial water. As the creators of the plan, they had saturated themselves with the idea and they were sure anyone else would be able to grab a hold and go on the journey. NOPE. Finally, I shouted WHOA! I said their explanation lacked clarity. They had not positioned the idea, the goal, or the steps in any manner of lucidity to anyone outside the project itself.
Over 5,000 people have reached the summit of Mt Everest since 1953. About 300 people have perished in the attempt. Each success and failure started with a clarity of mission; the summit. Everything around this goal was planned. They planned for the best time of year, the food and oxygen, the need for Sherpa help, and their own personal training.
Most strategic plans should have the same level of clarity in order to gain the level of engagement needed to reach accomplishment.
The beginning is a good place to start. Do this ONE thing:
After the idea is positioned and discussed, ask everyone on the team to take center stage and explain the idea as they understand it. No comments until everyone is done. You’ll get a great view of the clarity shared by the team. An essential element is that everyone, at the beginning “gets it”. It allows that understanding to be extended to others.
It is an essential part of the planning process and one that will help the project get from concept to a red checkmark – DONE!
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
L. Carroll – The Cheshire Cat