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Meaningless Outcome Defined Planning

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Can we quit the obnoxious and meaningless characterization of desired results masquerading as an action plan?

Think about how often a leader, when asked for plan details, replies with some description of a favorable outcome without ever describing how that might come about. If you can’t remember one, just google about any political press conference. The White House press secretary is really good at this.

“Well Mr Press Secretary, what will the President do about this,” asks the journalist.

“He’ll solve the problem, provide jobs, balance the budget, restore confidence, and make the world safe for freedom loving people everywhere,” comes the empty reply.

Business leaders do the same. They will restore the company to profitability, increase shareholder value, and grow the business. How you ask. Better hold your breath because thats not an answer you’ll hear any more.

What we’ll do requires an action verb and not a fluffy adjective or adverb. It requires a different course of ACTION – something other than what’s been going on already.

I was asked what we’d do to counter the downturn in oil and gas projects and our projected decline in revenue. My answer: “Enter the agriculture market, call on AG processors, retrain the sales force in cold and warm calling, redirect the marketing program for engineering, engage social media and remake the company web page.” Note the action verbs, the altered direction and the lack of predicted outcome.

We might fail or fall short but we won’t lack a direction, or a plan of ACTION. We’ll let the market determine the appropriate adjectives and proclaim our outcome.

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