The benefits of planning:
- Think about what you are going to do, in advance, so that when you act you may act more effectively.
- Tap into the collective intelligence and wisdom of your team.
- Minimize risk and maximize the possibility of success.
- Take into account, and maximize the use of your resources and capabilities.
- Consider past activity and bringing forward lessons learned into the present plan
- Strike the balance between prudence and boldness
In this episode, we cover three things.
- 5 Essential Elements of a Good Plan
- The Pitfalls of Planning and How to Avoid Them
- A Planning Framework that Works
Inspiration for this episode comes from Chapter Nine, “Plan”, of “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win”, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
1. 5 Essential Elements of a Good Plan
What? Why? How? Who? When?
2. The Pitfalls of Planning and How to Avoid Them
The pitfalls: Ego, Inefficiency, Rigidity
How to avoid them: Simplicity, Efficiency, Flexibility
3. A Planning Framework that Works
- Rally Cry
- Fierce Focus
- Critical Numbers
Rally Cry: Why, What
- Obvious: Everyone knows it, everyone can remember it, everyone can say it, understand it, and everyone should believe in it
- Inspirational: Tied in with the mission of the company etc.
- Aspirational: Gives someone juice to wake up with in the morning
Clear, Energizing and Packed with Hope
Fierce Focus: How/What/Who.
What is it:
“What must be done in order to achieve the rally cry?”
Imagine that you’re an Allied commander on D-Day
Rally Cry: Establish the Beachhead
- Ship to Landing Craft
- Landing Craft to Beach
- Beach to Cliff
Three Questions you should ask when establishing areas of fierce focus
- How does each help me achieve the rally cry?
- Is there a person accountable for each separate fierce focus?
- Is the burden of responsibility spread appropriately?
- Tied to each area of Fierce Focus
- Can be a metric or a date
- How to shape a good number:
- Is it linked to an area of Fierce Focus?
- Is it realistic and attainable in the time frame?
- Does it help with accountability?
An Example from Construction
This one-page planning process is at the heart of a meeting process I use with my construction clients: Kick-Ass Meetings
I’ve used this process with my construction clients for over 15 years. It helps them prepare for and conduct an effective meeting, and build simple action plans that they actually implement (no dusty binders). Download a short report that details how to use Kick-Ass Meetings by clicking this link: