Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Look back at our own upbringing and schooling and you would recall that there was a method in the daily routine that was carefully cultivated by a combination of customs, traditions, discipline and innovation. While on the home front the daily ritual follows a broad pattern, in school there is a carefully laid out timetable that governs our activities. The timetable of lectures is a typical example of a PLAN which gives an overview of the Prepared Line of Actionable Norms.

While far too often our carefully laid out plans do go wrong, we still persist in preparing the plans. There are a couple of reasons why we try and plan. To begin with a plan helps us conceptualize and clarify our thought process with respect to our goals and the way forward. When we formulate our plans in effect we are outlining the pros and cons, the opportunities and threats, paying attention to alternatives and tracing out the path to attain our goals. Plans help us ensure that we can track our progress and deviations. Without a plan we would be floundering and perhaps going around in circles. Imagine those holidays when you had nothing to do and at end of day felt that you wasted the day. On the other hand when you have chalked out something, and even if you didn’t achieve it you didn’t feel as despondent as the time when you simply wasted the day.

Plans also provide a psychological boost in getting a feeling of independence and control since we can prepare, revise, alter and change our plans as per our needs and urgencies. Obviously our plans are never in isolation for it has to fit in to the plans of world at large, the environment in which we operate and could change drastically depending on the demands of the moment. Yet we have a sense of ownership of those plans which we are an integral part of. Plans provide the momentum for progress. The blueprints of a building are the basis on which the work starts and progresses. Similarly the plans we draw up factor in the resources required, the timelines, the framework and the vision that drives progress.

Most plans are well thought out, have an inbuilt flexibility to regularly be upgraded to take care of changes and yet are robust enough to ensure speedy and successful execution. The best plans are those that take into account a long term vision, consider a holistic view of the end results and incorporate a blend of both innovation and pragmatism. By its very nature the best plans are also designed to be molded by the reality that exits at the time of the execution of the plan. The strategy adopted by sports coaches during the course of play is a prime example of this. Thus a PLAN  is developed by ensuring that there is a Prepared Line of Actionable Norms which can be followed, adapted or revised but one which will be implemented for the results to flow.

Try these:

Visit the website http://www.johngoddard.info  and go through the plans that John had drawn up and successfully executed. Attempt to prepare a similar list of actionable points for yourself.

Assume you want to organize a picnic or a party for a group of 30. Prepare a plan to be presented for approval. Ensure there is something unique/ different/ exciting to make the event both memorable and exciting.

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Powering your Spirit to ACT Now.
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