What To Do When Plans Don’t Work

What do you do when your BIG plan doesn’t work?

I mean you have looked at the situation. You have thought it through from all angles. Your team comes up with a plan that makes sense on paper. But then the High Risk / High Reward plan doesn’t come through.

As leaders, we have seasons in our lives, be it professional or personal, where we put something on the line. We invest our time, talent, or treasure (sometimes all three) into something to go to the next level. To turn the situation around. Sometimes our plans work, sometimes our plans fail.

A High Risk / High Reward situation for our nation right now has been the stimulus package. A ton of money, almost all loans, was invested into our nation’s economy with a HUGE hope. To make jobs, that produce income, that in-turn save our nation’s economy.

Well the latest figures from the House of Representatives don’t look good.

The hope was to create 3.4 million jobs, but in reality, there are 2.7 million less jobs than there were before the stimulus. In fact only one state has seen an increase in jobs.  Planning for an increase of 8,000 jobs, North Dakota has seen an increase of only 1,100.

Every other state is in the red.  The plan has not worked. At least not yet.

When a plan doesn’t work, or isn’t working, you have to do a few things….

  1. Evaluate the Execution – Was the plan executed as proposed?
  2. Evaluate the Circumstances – Has anything changed since the original plan was made?
  3. Evaluate the Situation – Has the plan ran it’s full course or is this the “Dip” before true success?
  4. Evaluate the Variables – Knowing what you know now, could a little more of this or a lot less of that made a major difference?
  5. Evaluate the Team – Do you have the right people making the plans and executing the plans?
  6. Evaluate the Future – What should be the plan now given the new circumstances?

In sports, plans don’t work all the time. The plan maybe to score on a certain play, but it only got you half way to the end zone, or you lost yardage, or the other team got the ball and scored. Whatever happens, as long as there is time on that clock, you still have time to evaluate the new reality, adjust, and try again.

When plans don’t work, lead your team through these steps, and try again.

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Filed under Leadership, What I'm Learning

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