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It might seem that if you don’t know everything you need to know to get started on a strategic initiative that it’s smart to wait until you know everything . . . or at least know more.

Maybe it’s smart to wait.

But if you’re intent on creating strategic impact, waiting can kill you later on if the timing for the initiative you’re trying to implement doesn’t shift to account for the delays in knowing everything you should know to get started.

Plus, you’re never going to know EVERYTHING you want to know to get going with a major strategic initiative.

Start-Now-Dont-Wait

Creating Strategic Impact by Starting Now

In light of all this, what can you do to move forward with an initiative, even if there are significant gaps in knowing what the strategy is, the details are, or what you’re ultimately expected to deliver?

Even in these situations, you could be creating strategic impact by:

  1. Going all out to figure out and solve what you don’t know.
  2. Doing things that can be readily undone if necessary when you learn everything.
  3. Doing things that CAN’T be readily undone later to help force a particular strategic direction.
  4. Getting everything ready for when you know everything, whether that’s planning, securing resources, training, etc.
  5. Working on other things so you can pay less attention to them and go all out on the delayed initiative when it starts.
  6. Tackling the broad brush strokes of the initiative and save the details for when you know more information.
  7. Diving in to the little details that will get less attention at the end once you put the big picture parts of the initiative in place later.
  8. Developing the parts of the initiative that have the most flexibility and room for change later.

What else would you add to this list? When you don’t know everything you would like, what do you do to start now and quit waiting? – Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2 Responses to “Creating Strategic Impact – 8 Ways to Start Now and Quit Waiting”

  1. John Bennett says:

    A few thoughts:
    1. You mentioned trying to determine what you DON’T know and I believe that needs this emphasis. My advice to students is to always stop trying to develop an answer when it’s not happening; then intentionally work to figure out what the hurdle is, what’s preventing progress. In my own case and as students have told me, the real hurdle is the identification; once known, the hurdle disappears.
    2. Starting ASAP is good for a lot of reasons. You’ll never know everything for sure; therefore you are virtually guaranteed to never come up on first try with the perfect design / plan. So figure out a possible design / plan (no obviously bad components) and prototype. Assessment and reflection will yield refinements or even the need to go in a totally different direction. It will show what help or learning is necessary. It will give you more time. It will enable others to provide advice more easily. Lots of reasons …