Achieving Great Results

To consistently achieve results, effectiveness is vital. But there is a difference between effectiveness (doing the right things) and efficiency (doing things right).

Cranes In The Sky.

As with so many simple observations this has profound implications. You see, it doesn’t matter how well we do something, if that thing is not what we should be doing.

Of all the factors which make an organisation effective, doing the right things is the most fundamental. Whether it be in your marketing program, individual projects, or across the whole organisation, effectiveness is the key to success.

A few organisations may be fortunate enough to do the right things by accident, but for most of us achieving great results means planning.

Planning is one of the most important aspects of winning results. Planning is central to success for individuals, groups, associations, and for businesses whether large or small. Yet repeatedly we hear just how badly planning is done.

Eighty per cent of small businesses do not have a business plan. Eighty per cent of small businesses fail within three years.

And little has changed, even for larger businesses, since the Karpin Report identified them as having difficulty planning, stating: “the main Australian enterprises and their managers have too short-term a focus.”

Despite the evidence of how hard it is to plan well, some people still claim planning is simple. If that were completely true, surely we would all be better at it? In fact, effective planning may not be hard, but it is difficult to do without help. Even those of us who help others plan for a living, appreciate external input for our own plans.

Effective organisations (like effective individuals) plan. Their plans are always written down, but rarely set in concrete.

Good plans are dynamic documents, subject to regular review and evolving with circumstances. As General Eisenhower said “It’s not the plan but the planning that counts.”

The power of planning lies in its capacity to focus our attention beyond the distractions of the journey, on our purpose and objective. Plans remind us of the forest when we are deep in the trees.

Remember, failing to plan is surely planning to fail.

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