Tag: Planning

It’s the planning, not the plan

In this fireside video from a lodge on a lake in Maine, Craig talks about the value of having a plan vs. making a plan.

If you are a planning skeptic, check this one out.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley.

I’m about to start a meeting in this awesome room. I’m at the Kennedy Learning Center on the shores of Damariscotta Lake, right out those windows. We’re going to sit around this table and were going to make a plan.

Now a lot of people don’t like plans. A lot of people say that plans are useless. In fact, Dwight Eisenhower said, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” And I get that.

Sometimes — actually most of the time — after you make a plan, circumstances change and the whole plan is no longer valid. But the process of planning is indispensable even if you don’t stick to the plan. Having gone through the effort to think through what is it that we want to achieve — what are the steps, in what order, who’s responsible for what, how much money is each step going to cost — having thought through those plans helps us later even when we have to go off the plan. Even when circumstances change; because we went through the planning process we much better know how to adapt.

So even if you think plans are obsolete I hope you agree with me that the effort of planning is indispensable.

Thanks for listening everybody.

Three Ways to Keep Your Plan Alive

Making a plan but worried that it will get ignored, shelved, or die from neglect? In this video, Craig gives us three ways to help us keep our plans alive: align, report, and revise.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey, it’s Craig Freshley here. Oftentimes when I work with groups on strategic planning or making any kind of plan I get asked, “How can we keep the plan alive? How can we keep the plan off the shelf?” Here’s three things to keep in mind.

One: Organize your plan the same way that your work is organized. Let’s say you’re making a strategic plan – you’ve got four goals. Wouldn’t it make sense to have four committees, or if you have four managers of staff operation, have those four managers be the same four managers aligned with the four goals? Now I know it might seem over-simplistic and even impractical, but as much as you can organize your plan along the same lines that you’re going to be implementing, that’s going to keep your plan alive.

Number two: Regularly report in terms of the plan. A lot of boards of directors or even corporate management teams have a weekly or monthly or quarterly meeting, and everybody reports, “Here’s what we did since we last met, etcetera”, but rarely do those reports align with the plan. They should. Whoever’s running the meeting should insist that every report not just be a random “Here’s what we did over the last few weeks”, but “Here’s what we did to support the strategic plan”. The report-outs should be in alignment with the organization of the plan.

Number three: If your practice drifts from what the plan says, don’t pretend you didn’t see that, don’t ignore that and just hope it will be okay, or think it’s going to be somebody else’s responsibility to fix that. Call it out, and do one of two things – either change the practice or change the plan. And let me tell you – it’s okay to change the plan. That’s actually how you keep it alive – by making it adaptable and changeable and in continuous alignment with your actual practices.

I know this sounds over-simplistic but this is what I’ve learned. Three Ways to Keep Your Plan Alive.

Thanks for listening everybody. I hope this helps your group make good decisions.