Commit to making decisions. Decide and move forward! Jason Fried, Founder of 37 Signals, from his book Rework
I had the privilege to hear Admiral Vern Clark, former Chief of Naval Operations, talk to a group of over 100 local business people. Admiral Clark is a fascinating individual, a humble hero driven by character and vision. He had me at “a-ten-hut” with his stories such as the night, as captain of a destroyer he led his crew to prevent crashing on a reef in the midst of a Class 5 hurricane.
Admiral Clark also talked of leadership. His insights flowed like chords from a master violinist; music to the ears of those who crave authenticity, from a warrior who’s felt the hammer of tsunami size swells on his broad side.
He described his passion for ship design, especially when it came to increasing his vessel’s maneuverability. He groaned as he described the traditional destroyer, a ship with almost 300 crew members and a top speed of 30 knots.
His eyes brightened and his voice elevated, however, when he described a ship partially of his own design called the LCS-2, the first of a new breed of a Cirque de Soleil re-imagined (as one author described) combat ships.
People make business plans for all sorts of reasons — to attract funding, evaluate future growth, build partnerships, or guide development. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these plans are usually out of date by the time the printer ink dries. Business moves fast: the product’s features morph, new competitors emerge, or the economic climate shifts. When these changes occur, many people just throw their business plans out the window. For a plan to be truly valuable it needs to evolve with your company and stay relevant in the face of uncertainty. Amy Gallow, Keeping Your Business Plan Flexible, Harvard Business Review
Companies must stay nimble in order to survive and thrive in this economy. Long term plans are like leprechauns, mythical characters that promise a pot of gold that no one ever finds. Let’s face it, most CEOs of emerging companies don’t have a plan! They resemble the guy on stage who spins multiple plates on thin poles – running from pole to pole in a desperate attempt to keep the plates from slowing down and toppling.
As my partner, Doug Tatum, brilliantly states, “Culture, at it’s core, is a trusted decision process.” CEOs and their teams can make decisions and move forward if they have a simple process to sync on the right priorities in a “circular” pattern:
The difference between this type of decision process and traditional “business plan strategy” is the difference between the traditional destroyer and the LCS-2. It’s about making decisions quickly using updated information. It’s about remaining NIMBLE!
If you would like to take a sniff of what it feels like when your company is nimble, check out the complimentary report on this site. You’ll like what you feel:
INC. NAVIGATOR COMPASS