Blog from Maribeth Kuzmeski of Red Zone Marketing
Are you doing without planning or planning without doing?
My own first reaction is to take quick action without taking the time to plan – a “Let’s Do it Now” mentality. I constantly have to stop myself from acting without planning, and allow some time to think through the strategy first. Others spend so much time planning that when they are finally ready to take action, the time for action has come and gone.
Sometimes we are too close to things in our own business. For clients we work with at Red Zone Marketing, we always focus on strategic planning first and action second. It’s certainly easier to take a different perspective with someone else’s business.
Both quick action and over-planning are problems. In order to have the best-executed strategy that will lead you to your goal, planning and expedient action are both critical. Ask yourself, can I plan more, or should I do more? Somewhere in the middle is probably the right answer.
What is your natural instinct? A valuable assessment tool is the Kolbe Index (www.Kolbe.com). The Kolbe A Index measures a person’s instinctive method of operation (MO), and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive. It is assessing innate action-modes that, according to Kolbe, do not change over time. To give an example: people with different profiles might respond to a challenge differently. Let’s say that the particular challenge is to get 10 clients in the next 2 months. You may do it based on the 4 modes of action that individuals possess (or most likely a combination of all of them):
- Quick Start: If you’re a Quick Start, you’ll probably go out and knock on doors, send out some mail, call some strategic alliances, plan a seminar, find out what someone else is doing and do all of these things at once. You will jump right into trial and error.
- Fact Finder: You’ll spend hours reading about, researching, asking questions, and learning about the best strategies for bringing on new clients before actually beginning.
- Implementer: You will take a task like networking, one you can imagine doing or have planned, and start meeting people using this strategy tomorrow.
- Follow Through: You’ll follow a plan given to you with focus and stay on task.
What is your instinctive method of operation? Being aware of how you and your team instinctually react is an excellent first step to finding where you stand on the decision-making spectrum, and where you need to move along the scale for a more profitable balance.