You're smart. You're a business leader of today thinking about success tomorrow. That's just the way the world turns these days. It's fast-paced and unforgiving if you don't have a well-oiled strategic plan.
I was reading a great blog article by Joshua Ehrlich today on Harvard Business Review's site. I receive their "Management Tip of the Day" every day and on most days, honestly, I read it take what I can from it and move on. Today though, was different. As I read it, I realized that I really struggle with moving too fast. I don't stop and think long enough, and as I mentioned in today's "Pulse Video Update," I bet you do too.
When faced with a challenge, the article suggests two very simple, very easy to execute tasks—we just have to take the time, be patient and allow the magic to happen. I know what you're thinking though (because I thought the same thing). "I put my phone away and close my door for some 'me' time when I really need to plan." That's good, but it's not good enough.
Ehrlich suggests completely "clearing the deck." Not only ignore your electronic devices, but also clear your calendar of unnecessary meetings, don't take any calls, and don't be afraid to ask for help in getting some of the more administrative tasks done while you plan.
I don't know about you, but I am definitely guilty of trying to think strategically and logistically simultaneously—not always the best plan.
Think coffee for the next suggestion. Ehrlich says to let your ideas percolate (I've always loved coffee, but for some reason I have always been "in love" with the word percolate. It's just one of those elegant words that makes the writer in me smile.)
Anyway, where was I? . . .
Oh yeah. We all need to let our ideas percolate. It's surprising to even me that with as much as I love the word, when it comes to strategic thinking I often don't allow my thoughts to do just that. Ehrlich says to truly get everything out of our ideas, we need to let them stew for a few days. Let the true juices of the idea flow out and sometimes we may be lucky enough to end up with a winner on the first try—but it's doubtful.
So maybe you're reading this over your morning coffee, but even if you aren't, remember most great ideas come from multiple percolations.
Percolate for perfection.