Do You Have a Plan, or Just a Wish?


I love visual thinkers, and Tom Fishburne adds a whole marketing dimension from his own experience, that is just hard to resist. This one made me immediately think about the importance of having a plan, and staying the course with some flexibility, as needed by circumstances.

Many organizations will need to out-innovate or create themselves out of a tight corner. Couponing, discounts, and holiday special sales days will need to come to an end after supplies last, unless your have a pure volume play and can sustain it over time.

Developing a context and working to achieve something that at first is aspirational is not the same as putting lipstick on a pig. Hard-won experience will teach you that when senior management sees it that way, you know your organization is in trouble. There is no plan, just a wish.

Do you have a plan, or just a wish?

Here's how you know.

(1.) You have unmanned way-points on the road to success: Make a list of all the things that need to happen if you want to get from Point A to Point B. Have each of these tasks been assigned? If not — WISH

(2.) Nobody has put gas in your tank: Referring to this list above, are there budget line items to cover each? If not — WISH

(3.) Is anyone buying what you're selling? Let's assume you pass the people and budget tests. Is there a sufficient marketplace to bear your aspirations? If you can't say why there is — WISH

(4.) Team building has another meaning: Are there enough people on it that you can cover all you need to make it a success? If you had not thought of resource allocation — WISH

(5.) Is anybody out there doing it already? Who is in my way — and how can I cooperate with or go around them? If  you have no idea — WISH

(6.) Who are these people? Have you identified market segments and defined what their wish list is? Just hoping if you build it they will come — WISH

(7.) Getting your message out is not an issue: How do you get people to care? How can you talk to your customers best? If respecting their time is not a consideration — WISH

(8.) Do you have the infrastructure to support your way-point goals as you hit them? No support spells inability to deliver — WISH

(9.) Are we there yet? What are the metrics of progress? If you have no roadmap — WISH

And if you're a marketer with a sense of humor, you will enjoy one of the 12 signed prints Tom picked for reproduction.

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0 responses to “Do You Have a Plan, or Just a Wish?”

  1. Loved the post, Valeria. Related to your point on infrastructure, I might add another question to your list:
    Can we achieve this goal without harming or minimizing our other business goals?
    The era of innovation sometimes means that companies want to focus on seductive visions and “hot” ideas. But they could wind up robbing Peter to pay Paul…
    I guess my point is that sometimes a “wish should stay a wish.”

  2. I love Tom Fishburne’s cartoons and the message. Have a couple pinned up at my desk.
    I think the essence of your message here is that you need to make trade-offs, work with what you have – and go beyond surface talk on innovating and execute. And to execute, you need to plan – put some stakes down and build the map if there isn’t one.

  3. @Elizabeth – excellent point. Groups or departments hardly ever look at the greater good for the organization. Each has a goal, and sometimes, sadly, will put getting attention and a reward over the better choice for the business. And maybe, a wish should be folded into someone else’s plan.
    @Patrick – the plan is key to know what and how your going to do it. Resources and time are finite. Good summary.

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