When is a Plan a Plan


By Dave Favor, The Wise Owl

I was talking to my partner about cleaning the leaves out of our garden.  She spelled out several steps to accomplish this goal; rack the leaves, mulch the leaves, fertilize the plants, and spread the mulched leaves. I thought that this was a good plan.  She said if only we had a plan. I was a little puzzled, so I added more detail to the plan.  Now we had; use the hand rack to rack up the leaves, mulch with the electric mulcher, fertilize using a general purpose fertilizer and spread the mulched leaves after being bagged up.  Now we had a detailed plan, and she said if only we had a plan!

OK, this was very puzzling.  I asked her why she thought we did not have a plan. She said, what would it look like when we are done?  After some discussion, I realized that she was focused on the vision while I was focused on the execution.  Both are needed to have a good plan.

I suspect that this happens at work as well.  There are employees that are focused on the big picture or a visual representation of the result.  These people have very little awareness of the details or what it takes to create the result.   There are other employees that are focused on the execution but do not have a good visualization of the result.  Between the two of them they have a good understanding of what needs to be done.

If you want a good strategic plan for our business, make sure that you accommodate both sides of your process. You need a creative person to develop the vision and a detailed person to develop the execution plan. Both skills are needed, and both skills are equally important.

There have been many times when we were getting ready for our business trips when I was washing the windows and getting fuel when she would ask: What are you doing?  Then I would get in the car and ask: Where are we going? If you want to be on the “A Team” you have to love it when a plan comes together.