Bias For Action

When Dan Pink asked Tom Peters what was the most important principle from his book 'In Search of Excellence', he said without hesitation "A Bias for Action."  Dan Pink thens asked what was the second of the eight and after a long pause he said "A Bias for Action.'

He said he got in trouble with McKinsey because they wanted emphasis on STRATEGY.  They created great strategies for clients that they could not implement.  I have seen this over and over again.   I see it happening when ever a large consulting group is hired for to develop a strategy.  I am amazed often that the organization survive these grand strategies.

My approach was always developing plans that produced Rapid Results in the context of a strategy that set direction.   For example direction set in the Ten Commandment or the Golden Rule, as opposed to the whole Old Testement.  

How many companies have strangled themselves with the Grand Strategic Plan?  I bet you can think of several.

A company did not take my advice went with the big plan and three years later and millions of dollars later they had nothing to show for the great inventory management system that was attempted.   I felt really badly that I could not sell them on my approach but they wanted the GRAND plan, not action.

I am so pleased that I have discovered Tom Peters agrees with me.   

  1. Atul Reply

    Good refresher on the concept that great plans and strategies are practically useless unless a carefully thought out action plan and the expected results strategy is there to complement the so called “grand plan”. Thanks for the blog, Jim:)

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