Plan the Work, Work the Plan

- January 31, 2012

Strategic Tuesday/Process

Hello again, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape. 

Today is Strategic Tuesday and we’re going to talk about the importance of developing and implementing your action plan.  Yogi Berra, and all the pearls of wisdom that he shared with us, once said: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else.”  If you don’t’ have a plan in place and you don’t follow that plan, how the heck do you know where you are going?

Today’s topic is called “Plan the Work. Work the Plan.”

Why is this important?  You have to have a sense of direction.  Can you imagine getting on the road without any sense of direction?  No Google Maps or MapQuest or GPS.  Planning becomes a roadmap for you.  It becomes a game plan for you to follow. 

You need to be flexible as you develop your plan and implement it because things change.  They might change on a monthly basis, a weekly basis, who knows.  It might even be hourly if you have that kind of product where you are interacting with your customers all the time.

It’s important to put your plan down on paper.  If you just have it in your head, that’s fine and a lot of people go that direction, but my recommendation is that you write it down on paper so you can refer to it.  I recommend that you refer to it often.  It’s called shelfware when you make it and you put it on the shelf and you never refer to it again.  So it’s important to actually use it as a dynamic tool for the advancement of your business.  Then also if it’s written down, or an electronic version, you can share it with others.  You can share it with other people in your organization so they can see the common direction you are all trying to move together. 

Now what are the important ingredients of planning the work and working the plan?  First you have to have goals and objectives.  You have to have a place you are trying to get to.  By establishing what those goals and objectives are, that can be the foundation for your action plan. 

Next you have to have actionable tasks.  Things for people to do, whether it be yourself or somebody in your organization.  What are those things you are going to get done? 

Next is ownership.  It might be you or it might again be somebody in your organization.  Somebody has to be responsible for making those tasks happen. 

Next is the timeline and importantly the due date.  You need to set some point out in time where this has to get done.  If not, how do you know when mission is accomplished?  When will it get done?  If there’s not a sense of urgency then people won’t make it a priority.  So set that timeline and due date. 

Next is follow through.  You need to go back and find out if in fact due dates have been met.  If not, you ask the question “Why?”  I think it’s okay in your organization to do this.  You need to ask that of yourself and well as the people who are trying to help you carry out the action plan. 

Lastly is the review and the rework, starting all over again.  What went well and what didn’t go well and how do we fix it in the future? 

By planning the work and working the plan, essentially, you are going to outsmart Yogi Berra and your competition.  You’re actually going to wind up where you want to go.  Develop that plan, make it a priority, share it with others so that you have a common direction and you will get to your final destination. 

I set out an action plan for the release and development of Once a Day Marketing.  I planned the work and now I’m working the plan.  I have to make sure that I get you this video every single day.  I have to make sure I’m sharing these videos on the Internet to build awareness and so forth.  I am planning the work and working the plan and I’m constantly revising it as I talked about.  I’m learning something every single day which I try to implement in future action that I take.

So please, if you can, join us tomorrow Action Wednesday.  I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing and we will see you next time.

James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or onceadaymarketing@gmail.com