Planning Isn't Doing. Only Doing is Doing.

January 16th 2014

When you enter “planning apps” into a Google search, you get 315 million hits. That’s a lot of planning. In contrast, when you search for “execution strategy apps,” the number falls to just under 77 million. There are more than four times the number of internet opportunities to plan than there are to execute.

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Here’s what I have discovered in my own planning experience:

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  • It feels good to discuss things, get excited about them, commit to them in theory, and envision the results.
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  • Planning seems smart, so we feel smart doing it.
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  • We will pay to have people or things (apps) help us do it. Whether it’s 99 cents or $9000, plenty of people shell out money to planning experts. Paying money makes us feel like we’ve done something important.
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I’m fairly certain that of these three, the fact that it feels good is the most compelling. I’ve spent countless hours facilitating planning sessions for CPAs, lawyers, and association executives. I’ve had thousands of conversations with friends and colleagues as they plan their next step. I see eyes light up and feel energies rise, because the very act of planning makes people feel as though they have actually done something.

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But here’s the thing: planning doesn’t make anything happen. Doing does. The plan currently gathering electronic dust isn’t helping you or your firm do better, no matter how good it felt to create it. As good as planning feels, it’s only meaningful when combined with execution.

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