January 23, 2012

Three States of Living Matter

Here’s a post I wrote in January, 2007. It’s worth bringing it around again for your consideration.
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At the beginning of a new year, many of us like to review the past 12 months, and revisit our plans for the coming 12 months. If we are forward thinking, we probably have a look at the 5-year and 10-year plans we may have made, as well.

It is always said of business plans that they are dynamic documents which should be regularly read, revised, republished, and consulted. I agree. I also like to extend that thought to any plan.

A plan is one approach to getting from point A to point B, whether in time or space. It is the approach you’ve chosen. It may not be the most correct way to accomplish your goal, but it is the one you’ve researched, analyzed, scoped. specified, funded, and are now implementing. You’ve made a commitment to that plan and those particular tactics over other possible ways to get the job done.

However, life happens. Sometimes the universe changes the variables with which we are working. We encounter obstacles that were different from what we had anticipated. Our actions have different consequences that what we had predicted. We are confronted with new information that we didn’t have when we first formulated our plan. Consequently, we need to adjust. We need to rethink the plan.

Smart people understand that reworking a plan is a natural part of project management. Any time the conditions, variables, resources, or outcomes change in a project, it is advisable to take another look at the project plan and make adjustments accordingly. It may mean increasing funding, pushing out a deadline, reassigning personnel, reducing requirements, or changing other aspects of the plan. Dynamic plans live and breathe. They grow.

There are only three states of living matter in the universe. Anything live is either growing, stagnant (in stasis), or decaying.

When looking at plans for your business this year, it is valuable to ask:

  • Where are we now?
  • Are we growing, stagnant, or decaying?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • What do we need to change, to get the growth we want to have?

You want your business to thrive, to grow, to be a living entity. Re-evaluation of your current state can help you decide what to do next.

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