Don’t Let the (un)expected Derail You

Executing your strategies and plans for 2011 can easily be derailed by issues that are within your span of influence – even when you think they aren’t in your control.   For instance, we can’t control inclement weather (just ask the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee), however we do control the internal processes that we have in place to deal with that weather.  Success comes from a disciplined process of first anticipating the problems and then implementing preventive measures.   Ask yourself these crucial questions about your plans and strategies:

  • If you are making a change, what problems are you not anticipating?  You won’t know unless you take the time to focus on this question.  For instance, LED traffic lights intended to cut energy costs didn’t produce enough heat to melt snow on the lights.
  • Are your preventive actions adequate?  Rolling blackouts plagued the Dallas area in the days leading up to the Super Bowl because of inadequate freeze protection at power generation plants in Central Texas.
  • Are you implementing preventive actions at the right time?  DART Rail gambled and opted not to run trains overnight when the first wave of cold and ice hit Dallas last week.  Therefore, many of the lines froze and DART couldn’t get half of their trains out of the yard.

Perhaps weather has minimal impact on accomplishing your objectives, but you can be impacted by other significant changes outside your control.  The negative impact of these changes can be anticipated and prevented.  As this humorous video illustrates, don’t let the urgent get in the way of the important. Take the time to ask yourself the right questions and to implement the right actions to keep your strategies and plans on track.

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