That’s not a plan….

“That was a good day”.  Gareth was pleased.  We’d just finished a session on the future of his area.

“I’m glad.  What did you get from it?” I asked.

“Well, the team have now all worked on the three themes for the area, and the format you used was great.  Breaking it up into what we’d be providing in the future for who, how we’d do it and what would need to change worked well.  And I liked how we spent time on the obstacles and hassles as well, didn’t back away from them”.

“It’s a useful format.  So what did you get from it?”

Gareth frowned.  “I see what you’re asking.  What did I actually get?”  He stared down, for him always a sign of serious thinking.  After a while he looked up;

“You know what I’ve got?” he said.  “I’ve got a plan!  And it’s from the team itself, so they’ll be on board”.

“Not quite” I replied.

“What do you mean?  Today was great.”

“What we did today was to collect a bunch of input.  Valuable input.  About what the future can look like.  But what we don’t have are the steps required to get there.  The actual work.”

“I see what you mean” said Gareth, nodding.  “So do we need another session?”

“No”  I replied.  “Your people have been great.  They’ve done their part for now.  It’s time for you to do your part.  Its time to write down what results are required to be delivered, by who, to make this future we described today come to fruition.”

“So what you’re saying is….”

“It’s time to actually write your plan.”


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