Planning – Big Red Rules – 2018 I

Planning, the breakfast of champions, y’all.

Big Red Car here on a cold morning. How cold, BRC? Brrrr, it’s 23F with a high of 53F today. Come on, sunlight.

So, today we have a few rules pertaining to planning. It is a time of year that CEOs should have finished their planning for 2018.

Big Red Rules – Planning

Any plan beats no plan.

Planning is not complete until you brief the plan to your team and they “brief back” it to you. If they cannot repeat the plan back to you, you have no plan.

The plan has to be in writing, filed on an accessible digital file, and in people’s hands. Test this. Ask people to produce the plan. Give them 60 seconds to do so. If they cannot, guess what? You don’t have a plan. You do, but your team doesn’t.

The first casualty upon contact with the enemy (market) is the plan, but without a plan you would not know which direction to pivot.

A plan is a dynamic document. Update it regularly.

1 Jan 2018 plan begins
1 April 2018 review progress, update plan, communicate update
1 July 2018 review progress, update plan, communicate update
1 October 2018 review progress, update plan, communicate update
15 November 2018 begin 2019 planning cycle
28 December 2018 spend two hours reviewing what went well and what went poorly vis a vis the plan

Make the plan actionable by converting it into individual objectives. Assign these objectives — no more than 10 — to real people in writing. Make them tell you what the “deliverable” is when each objective is completed.

Base your performance appraisal system on the attainment of objectives driven by the plan.

Plan your work, work your plan, keep score using the objectives derived from the plan.

This is you WITH a plan which the company embraces. You are the King of the Freakin’ Jungle.


This is you WITHOUT a plan. Sometimes this is called “prey.” You are so screwed, but, hey, you’re cute. Cute doesn’t count.

OK, so dear CEO, there it is. You make the decision whether you are flying blind or on a carefully controlled instrument flight. It is your choice and you own the results. And, at the end of the day, ONLY RESULTS COUNT.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourselves and stay warm. 




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