It Won’t Happen If Someone Doesn’t Write It Down

A few months ago, DCI Group Partner Craig Stevens made a thoughtful case for grace on LinkedIn. His serious, helpful counsel caused me to reflect on how I am too quick to judge others. If you haven’t read it, you should.

But I’m going to take this post in a different direction (and certainly less profound).

President Eisenhower once said that “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

I believe that writing campaign plans is a crucial skill at DCI. Clients count on us to successfully execute a multifaceted strategy, but this can’t be accomplished through conference calls and meetings alone. Someone needs to draft a plan that specifically identifies tactics, projects a timeline, and anticipates necessary resources.

Only a plan provides a starting base to receive feedback and approval. Without a plan your team may be conceptually aligned, but unable take decisive action. With a plan, everyone knows their role and can calibrate their own activity, doing their part to keep the team on track. Perhaps most importantly, clients know what we’re doing, why and how we’re doing it, and they collaborate with us through an ongoing strategic evaluation. 

Of course, your adversary is likely to engage in ways that you can’t always anticipate, so your written plan may become obsolete, as Ike expressed. Put another way, Mike Tyson said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

While the ability to change course quickly and efficiently is our specialty, refining that skill is for another post. The bottom line is that putting an initial plan to paper puts both your team and the client on the best footing to navigate the road ahead and recalibrate in the face of unexpected turns.

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