The Road Will Be Bumpy – Plan on It

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

All systems degenerate over time.

No matter what you think will happen, something else will pop up that you had not thought of.

Who would argue with any of the above?  We see it in everything we do.  You plan an event, a product, a campaign, or a process, and within seconds of starting, something comes up you had not anticipated.

“Anticipate the unanticipated,” sounds like an oxymoron.  It isn’t.  Plan that something will happen that throws you off your game.  Include in your process that when something unanticipated happens you will gather X, Y, and Z on the phone and decide how to handle the situation.

Call it plan C – for chaos.

My younger daughter’s wedding was a month ago.  I made sure she had a plan C – or at least was prepared with the idea that something was going to come up at the last minute to throw things off.  She is not normally a calm person.  She was that day.  I’m sure something went wrong.  It always does.  She handled it brilliantly.

I’m active in a shooting sports program.  I help run a few leagues, clinics, and tournaments.  I know that something is going to go wrong.  Maybe it’s a little thing.  Maybe it’s a big thing.  Every time we put on an event, we learn a bit more and add to our plans for the next time.

Recently Micheal Phelps’ coach divulged that he would regularly “sabotage” Micheal.  He would hide his goggles, crack them, pick him up late, or have his meals miss-handled.  Anything to, in low-risk situations, get Phelps attuned to the mishaps and chaos that comes from life as an athlete.

I have heard stories about Tiger Woods’ Dad doing similar things during Tiger’s training.  He would clap while Tiger was putting – or play loud music – or mess with his equipment.

Do the same in your business – put chaos in your planning.