I recently attended a workshop where I heard a phrase that I am now billing as one of my favorites. Fact Free Planning. Now before I feel a need to travel further with this thought, I am sure many reading this are already placing a story to the phrase. It would be fair to say that if you work anywhere in America, you have probably been the victim of Fact Free Planning. The polar opposite of Paralysis by Analysis, Fact Free Planning is the engine by which haste is made to frustrating volumes of unsuccessful activity.
Details are the essence of which great planning transpires, unless you are a skilled fact free planner. Details only slow down an uncalculated vision, goal, or mission. Ever get that stare when you birth revelation of reality in a meeting, as if you are the wet blanket that would prefer to do nothing? By nature I analyze. I strategize. I consider variables that may impact results. That’s just who I am. I can’t seem to shake this party pooping demeanor. Yes, it’s funny. But, it is also sad.
Action is definitely a fuel that an organization needs to project vibrancy and life. And sometimes too much analysis can stymie the visionary’s mojo. But let’s consider the great waste that follows Fact Free Planning.
One of my favorites is the time honored cookie cutter plan. Let’s do it like those guys over there. We’re smarter, better looking, and have better coffee. It can’t be that hard. Forget about the variables of specific skills, resources, and experience the ‘other guys’ may have. So we beat a drum and march on in futility.
Or maybe it’s the ‘Let’s Do It Before Anyone Else’ plan. You know, the innovation that must be executed tomorrow. Unfortunately, sometimes those innovations have already been scrutinized and found without merit.
And then there’s the ‘It’s So Crazy, It Might Work’ plan. Does this really need description? Who out there has scars and battle wounds from some of these.
The truth of the matter is, planning is needful if you really desire success. Lack of planning is the villain by which time and resources are wasted. The time we invest is a precious commodity. Whether in life, work, or leisure, once spent it cannot be regained. If the purpose of life is to just stay busy, by all means plunge past the facts and battle through a ‘Fact Free Plan’. But, if your real goal is to accomplish, change, or impact the world around you, stare the facts down, overcome the objections, resolve the variables, and press on to success.
Happy trails. Enjoy another great day…. Of Climbing Higher and Expecting More.
written by James Anderson, Consultant and Life Coach for Expecting More