Have a Plan. Work the Plan.

Businesses hire consultants, coaches and/or strategist to help them.  Sometimes a deck is involved, one that ends with conclusions or recommendations.  Hours are spent and money changes hands.  Nice work everyone.  Now what?  If you sought out and paid for strategic help, hopefully, you take the recommendations and do the work to implement what are now your plans to achieve your goals. Don’t forget to implement against a timeline.  Beyond execution, you also need to measure and reinforce the changes you are putting in place. 

Having a plan, that is just the first step.  A plan that is sitting on your desk, in a bin or in a folder or a folder on your desktop, on a flash drive, what good is it doing?  It isn’t just about having a plan, it is about working the plan. 

If this plan happens to come in the middle of your path – as a possible course correction or even expansion (in either case pushing you beyond your comfort zone) are you going to have the backbone to work it?  Change isn’t easy but why spend the money on professional advice if you are just going to leave it to collect dust? 

Your work does not end when you have taken possession of the advice.  The work doesn’t stop when you put the plan out there by telling your team what the plan is.  The work doesn’t stop, ever.  It takes at least ninety days to see change start to take hold.  Even after the change seems routine, there is still no resting.  Checks and balances need to be in place to make sure that the old ways don’t come back and that any new hires understand the process and methods used to keep your business efficient and tight.

Yogi Berra once said, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”   You could also just end up where you started if you have a great plan and don’t have the courage and perseverance to keep working it.