Perfection Can Wait

A red button with the word Action on it, representing the need to act to affect change, achieve a goal or take a stand for what you believe in

“Nothing kills progress like brilliant strategy.”

This quote is from the book, Bet on Me, by Canadian business leader Annette Verschure, which explores the effective implementation of leadership strategies.

Canadian Business recently published an excerpt which provides an interesting insight into the link between the need for a plan and the need for action. Verschure argues that the effective organizational leader must commit to action instead of waiting around for the perfection of a fully realized strategic plan.

Click here to read the excerpt.

While Vershcure focuses on the need for decisive action, this does not mean that there is no need for a big picture vision. In fact, it is precisely the big goal, the big idea, which provides the target for setting the leadership and organizational sights for the future. According to Verschure, the risk of waiting for the absolute perfection of every detail of a strategic plan to be in place before taking action can stop the process from launching in the first place.

How many of us get stuck by the need for perfection before we decide to move forward? It is easy to get caught in a cycle of paralysis because the fear of moving forward is greater than the risk of standing still. We need a big push to stop that cycle and just get started.

For organizations, the same principle applies. At some point, the leader must determine that waiting for the perfect plan will stifle the benefits of moving forward. With the big-picture goal in sight, the action plan can start the organization moving in the right direction and prepare for adjustments along the way.

Perfection is not necessary. Good enough should suffice.

If it is good enough, it means that it is time to go.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does having a plan force you to act, or prevent you from acting?
  2. What steps are necessary to ensure that the organization is not stuck in constant planning?
  3. What role does timing play for effective implementation of an action plan?
  4. From your reading of the excerpt, why is the development of effective relationships so critical in ensuring effective implementation of an action plan?