PLANNING IS A LOT LIKE EXERCISE AND EATING BETTER. We all know we should do it, and we talk a lot about it, but we still don’t do it. And even when we do plan, we don’t usually follow the plan.
So why plan?
The impact of a plan that works – really works – on the people who created it is amazing. It makes them feel powerful and in control. It makes a company more able to direct their future. It makes leaders more confident. And on and on.
All of these benefits flow right from time invested in planning a project or something bigger. I use this rule of thumb: invest 1 or 2% of your project time in planning. It will pay you back at least 20 to 1. Here’s an example:
The best planner I’ve ever worked with is Bill LeMaire. He built and ran the nation’s foremost packaging information company. He would have an idea, sketch out a quick plan and cost analysis on a lunch napkin and decide yes or no on a project. Right then and there. Took him perhaps two minutes. I saw him start big projects that way. And I saw him discard ideas that way. He had figured out a simple system that worked for him, and he worked it. He consistently turned simple plans into big profits.
So do you have a simple, fast and proven planning system you use every day?
Most leaders don’t.
That’s the reality driving our development of One Hour Tools™. We are building upon many of our new Enactix™ planning and leadership tools to create systems where you – alone or with a team – can plan out, figure out, and straighten out something in a short amount of time.
If you had such a system, I believe that would make your planning faster, more enjoyable and more productive.
Stay tuned for more on One Hour Tools™ as things evolve. In the meantime, here are two recommendations:
RECOMMENDATION Work on crafting a simple planning system that will enable you to quickly evaluate or map out ideas, projects, or opportunities. Maybe it’s a formula, a list, or a few steps pieced together. And then start using it, refining it as you go until it’s indispensable.
RECOMMENDATION Give some thought to setting up a fixed percentage of time for planning projects: 1, 2, 3% perhaps of expected project duration. And see what it produces. If it works — and it likely will, it’s a simple concept that’s easily replicated throughout a company once you’ve made it work in one part.