‘Everyone has a plan until he is hit in the mouth’. Mike Tyson
Planning is one of those pieces of work that most business owners never quite get around to, I so often hear ‘I’m too busy to plan’ or ‘everyone knows exactly what we are here for and what we need to do.’ WE don’t need a plan to tell us.
In this month’s peer board meeting I ‘stole’ an idea from one of my colleagues and introduced a 5-minute slot when we take an inspirational quote and discuss what it means for us. This month I brought a quote from Mike Tyson. ‘Everyone has a plan until he is hit in the mouth’.
I was surprised and delighted by the different perspectives that were shone on that quote. I believe the original context was the power of disrupting another’s plans with a definitive action. I can’t think of a more definitive action that hitting someone in the mouth.
My members tended to view it from a different perspective and what followed was a real insight into why planning is so important. The consensus was that plans are not put in place for when everything is going well, they are created so that when things don’t go ‘according to plan’ you have a view and an idea of what you need to do to correct an otherwise difficult decision.
One member said: “whenever one of my employees says I haven’t got time to plan, I always tell them to make time for it now. If you haven’t got time to plan now, how much time will you need to plan to get yourself out of the hole that you are going to fall in?”. Another said: “a task with no plan is like an aimless stroll, great if you have all the time in the world and no objective. A task with a plan is like a walk, you plan your route and know how you will get from a to b and how long it will take you.”
Numerous pieces of research have shown that jobs are finished on average with 20% less effort if they start with even a rudimentary plan, and we all know we feel less stressed and more able to deal with interruptions if we can measure where we are and how far we still have to go. So make a plan. If you don’t have time, plan how you can create a gap of 10 minutes to make one.
If you’re struggling to plan due to the fear of the unknown, have a read of our 5 tips for businesses to rise above uncertainty.