I really like Leo Babauta’s work on his blog Zen Habits. Zen appeals to me personally and Zen Habits strikes me as full of real-world wisdom for dealing with actual life. And sometimes it strikes me that what Leo is saying about personal life applies just as well to business.
For example, here is the summary of his post How I Changed My Life, In Four Lines:
He’s writing about changing life habits, as in getting regular exercise, eating healthier, getting out of debt, and — his words — “so on and so on.”
But I read this as a perfect four-line summary of the right way to introduce regular planning process into your business or organization.
- Don’t try to do the whole plan at once. Start small, with a SWAT analysis, sales forecast, vision or mission, whatever works for you.
- Don’t try to push the whole thing into a pre-defined box. have patience. Work with specific goals, people, metrics, and milestones.
- Look for progress in the specifics. Focus on manageable deliverables, components you can impact. Don’t get impatient looking for sweeping change.
- Settle in for the steps, one step at a time. Stick to the fundamentals. Enjoy it.
Planning and good planning process is in fact a lot like healthy eating and regular exercise — something you do consistently over time, not in sudden random bursts.