ArticlesStrategic Planning

3 Ps of Planning - Prepare, Personalize, Pilot

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Here's a really simple way to make sure your plans always produce the results you expect.

"There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." - Napoleon Hill

Every plan must provide its leader with the capability to fulfill this multi-level purpose:

=> To inspire the commitment of others,

=> To execute on the plan's promises

=> To supervise the plan to successful conclusions.

The reasons why many plans fail can be grouped into one of these categories: its strategic approach, its relevance to people, its use as a control tool.

You need to follow the 3 "P"s for planning and learn how to develop plans that deliver breakthrough results.

Prepare Your Plan!

Sounds obvious, doesn't it? If you hope to follow a plan, then you have to prepare for it, don't you?

Wise planners have clearly defined ways to prepare their plans.

=> What major goals do you want your plan to accomplish?

=> How many resources, assets and partners will your plan require?

=> When will your plan begin and when will it end?

=> Where will you find the most reliable information?

=> Who will benefit from your plan, who will do the work of the plan, who will be responsible for leading the plan?

=> Why will we need each section of the plan and why will that section be important to our success?

Personalize Your Plan!

Every plan involves people. They are either participants in or beneficiaries of your plans. Regardless of their roles, your plans must be sensitive to their talents, values and priorities.

When you include the following principles, you can make your plans "people-friendly":

=> Defining their problems, wants and expectations

=> Building communities of like-minded folks

=> Expanding your impact through partnerships

=> Linking their needs to your delivery of value

=> Addressing their hunger for new growth opportunities and prosperity

Use these ideas to find ways to serve the demands of those people affected by your plans - that means involving your partners, suppliers, employees or team mates and your constituents or clients.

Pilot Your Plan!

If your plan is supposed to guide you, why don't you use it to pilot your efforts to successful outcomes?

Commercial pilots use their 'flight plans' as a checklist, map and control manual to make sure they land us safely at the right airport. You wouldn't want to end up at some place 1000 miles away from your home or office, would you?

As a Checklist

=> What steps do you need to take?

=> What outcomes or results are your actions supposed to produce?

=> Who does what and at what stage are they supposed to do those tasks?

=> How much work needs to be done?

=> How are you supposed to do your tasks?

As a Map

=> Indicates or suggests direction

=> Defines distance between starts and finishes

=> Provides pathways, specific processes or flows

=> Shows intersections, linkages and connections

=> Gauges progress towards milestones and targets

As a Control Manual

=> Describes conditions, factors and forces

=> Supports problem-solving and decision-making

=> Empowers training and coaching interventions

=> Facilitates situational, contextual or structural analysis


Leadership stands on a foundation of effective planning. Great leaders use plans to strengthen the resolve of their people and focus those people on crystal-clear goals.

W. Clement Stone was a self-made, mega-millionaire entrepreneur who lived and believed this truth - "You, too, can determine what you want. You can decide on your major objectives, targets, aims and destination."

Are you ready to shape your plan and plan your shaping? Are your most ardent desires searching for the concrete certainty of a plan? Are you hungry for the next growth opportunity?

If so, use these 3 "P"s as your guide, your map and your playbook - when you do, you'll breakthrough your roadblocks!

Copyright ? 2005, Mustard Seed Investments Inc., All rights reserved.


About the Author:

Bill Thomas teaches leadership techniques using strategic, innovative, evolutionary-focused concepts - his 2-Volume, how-to Manual, "Strategic Organizational Leadership: Create & Deliver Fail-Proof, Breakthrough Plans", uses an energizing process of group development to produce value empowered results! "See it, Plan it, Lead it, Improve it!"


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