June 5, 2014 by Rick Brammer
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” This Albert Einstein quote succinctly says what many of us in business have learned—oftentimes the hard way. In a previous blog, I wrote about the need to plan your work and I truly believe that the phrase and practice of “plan your work, work your plan” is an irrefutable law of success.
Today, we’ll discuss the absolute need to be open to adapting your plan. I have yet to meet the individual who thought of everything and had the ability to see the future so clearly that they could develop a plan that was perfect. Experience provides us with the knowledge needed to develop a plan that includes important elements and also allows us to see, sometimes more clearly than others, into the future. Experience and good information are essential to developing a solid plan, but an inability to adapt that plan can be disastrous.
There is a famous Woody Allen quote that states, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Knowing that a plan will require adjustment in no way diminishes the need for a plan. As with most things in life, just accept that change will be the only constant.
Why change your plan? Is this admitting defeat or are you giving up by saying your plan requires change? Absolutely not. There are many external, as well as internal, factors that we simply do not control. Changes in any one (or several) of these factors can mean a modification is in order.
One key to this process is open communication channels within all levels of your organization. This allows you to understand what is really happening, quickly and with no filters. Having this knowledge gives you the opportunity to make the minor corrections (to the plan) necessary to get back on course. If some people within your organization hoard information or there isn’t a trust factor that allows individuals to speak up, you run the risk of getting so far off course only a major correction can bring you back on track. In business, this translates to lost opportunities which, most often, means lost revenue and/or profit.
What’s one to do? Make “plan your work, work your plan” an ongoing process and not an event. Understand that the only failure in this process is not being open and willing to change your plan.
I’ll close with this quote from Abraham Lincoln, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
Rick Brammer is president and co-owner of United Credit Service, Inc.
Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing highly effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. We offer pre-service collection solutions as well as traditional back-end collections. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com or call 877-723-2902.