Online, in person and in print; there are any number of places you can seek advice on developing sound strategy but in the rush to get on with the planning, don’t overlook the importance of properly defining what it is you are planning for…..
Lewis Carroll’s novel ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (commonly called Alice in Wonderland) was first published in 1865. It is generally considered to be one of the best examples of a genre known as ‘literary nonsense.’ And it is probably reasonable to think of it as nonsense as it tells the tale of a girl called Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and who then meets a number of strange anthropomorphic creatures. However, behind its enduring popularity lies Carroll’s ability to use logic to relay significant parts of his tale.
Consider the moment when Alice, lost, comes across the Cheshire Cat:
“Excuse me sir,” Alice enquires, “could you tell me which road to take?”
Wisely the cat asks, “Where are you going?”
Somewhat dismayed, Alice responds, “Oh, I don’t know where I’m going sir.”
“Well,” replied the cat, “if you don’t know where you are going, it really doesn’t matter which road you take.”
The Cheshire Cat imparts sound advice not only for Alice but for anyone involved in strategic planning. The temptation is to rush to the planning, to start describing the journey, the ‘how’ part of reaching the destination.
But pause a moment and consider the sage advice of the cat; if you haven’t taken the time to get a clear picture of what success looks like, to properly define and describe your desired destination, then how can you accurately plan to ensure you arrive at your desired destination?
Having a strategy is not the key to success many think it is; the key lies in having a good strategy. And without a clear defined destination no strategy can be considered good.
But don’t take my word for it; ask the Cheshire Cat!
*I am grateful to Richard Smith of the Internet Consultancy.com from Redhill (UK) for pointing out to me that the original of this blog contained an error in that I assigned the quote to the caterpillar and not the Cheshire Cat. Thank you Richard, quality feedback is always more than welcome.
© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, June 2012