Weekly Thought – July 7, 2015
Fred distilled and defined. His ability to simplify without losing the essence set him apart from other management consultants. Clarifying without falling into formulaic cliches worked well for him.
There are three aspects to action: 1) concept, 2) system, and 3) philosophy.
The concept defines the basic principles. The system is the implementation of the principles, and the philosophy is the reason for doing. Said another way: The concept is the what to do – the system is now to do it – and the philosophy is the why of doing it.
Once the concept is clearly understood, the implementation or system becomes a technological procedure. This varies according to each specific situation.
For example, in military history we see General MacArthur planning the Inchon invasion. He studied the taking of Quebec by General Wolfe. The concept was surprise. The General asked his staff if this strategy would work, they all answered negatively. With their response, he went ahead and used this concept because he knew it would work. Surprise was going to be successful.
The technical approach was different from the one used by Wolfe. This was part of the genius. Often, leaders try to borrow the technique along with the concept and failure ensues. It is a mistake to understand few if any perfect strategic analogies exist in life. Each situation must have its own variation.
I faced this in the National Steel strike when I was called in to help management make plans. They had a past success and wanted to repeat it step by step. They failed to update the situation by grasping the difference in the two situations.
This leads me to one of my favorite principles: Stay current. One of the leadership pitfalls is relying on former successes to design a new plan. Many elements can be altered which affect the outcome. To ignore the full scope of the situation opens doors for failure. Staying current means being up to date on everything that will impact the strategy.
Philosophies and concepts are much more constant than the techniques of accomplishment. The three must all be part of the whole, but it is important to consider each separately before finalizing the plan. When we break it down, master each part, and learn to interweave them seamlessly we are well on the way to a workable strategy.
This week think about: 1) Which of the three is the easiest for me? Most difficult? 2) How intentional am I about my planning? 3) What keeps me current on my decision making?
Words of Wisdom: “Staying current means being up to date on everything that will impact the strategy.”
Wisdom from the Word: “May He grant your heart’s desire; may He bring all your plans to pass!” (Psalm 20:4 NET Bible)