Do you need goals, plans or a strategy?
It’s the middle ages and Winter and the food has run out in your village.
A bunch of responsible folk get together to decide what to do.
You may hope that Spring will come early but, as we all know, hope is not a strategy.
The group decides that the best course of action is to go deer hunting. As you are stalking a deer you notice a rabbit that would be a much easier kill and would feed your family for a week. Killing the rabbit would spook the deer.
What do you do?
Phil Jones, author of “Communicating Strategy” used this story to open his presentation. If the goal is to feed the village and the plan is to do this by bringing home a deer carcase, the planning process will encompass all the elements of making this happen.
The plan is what we do to decide how to execute the strategy. Therefore, the plan itself isn’t important, but the process of planning makes carrying out the strategy easy.
Some people argue that if you have a vision that excites you enough, you don’t need goals, plans or strategies. This may be true of a single person pursuing their vision but there are lots of examples of small businesses taking on jobs to bring in immediate cash that distract them from the long term goals.
Whenever more than one person is involved the strategy and, more importantly, how that strategy is communicated becomes very important. The goal of the team, in this case, the village, may be at odds with the goal of the individual and could result in lots of rabbits being chased at the expense of the organisation as a whole.
For more information on communicating strategy see http://www.communicating-strategy.com/ or contact Phil Jones at http://www.excitant.co.uk