Tip: Don't Let Planning Interfere with Acting - Modern Distribution Management

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Tip: Don’t Let Planning Interfere with Acting

Make difficult decisions and then act on them to ensure your plans are implemented effectively.
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While creating a clear plan is important to executing an effective marketing plan, one of the most effective ways to kill a marketing initiative is to discuss it and evaluate it endlessly, writes John Graham in Good Marketing Gone Bad. Every project deserves the best possible execution, but "picking at projects" is a very effective way to make sure nothing happens.

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The same could be said for any part of business planning.

Endlessly tweaking copy to get the "perfect" message or changing the color because it doesn't quite work will only slow things down. And making sure everyone – from the CEO to the janitor – has a chance to give input almost ensures that it will never happen. Keeping everyone involved and informed is essential, of course. But "buy in" can be code words for "What might happen if I make a mistake?"

The issue is leadership. "Decisiveness is the ability to make difficult decisions swiftly and well, and act on them. Organizations are filled with people who dance around decisions without ever making them," write Larry Bossidy, retired Honeywell International chairman and co-author ofExecution.

With marketing – as with any aspect of your strategy – eventually you need to stop planning and start acting.

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