By William Seidman I run into a paradox in my work helping companies define and create “best practices.” People often want to plunge in – try something – without any planning. When I push back they say they will create a best practice once they have worked on it for a while and know the best practices. The biggest problem with this (besides that it’s expensive) is that you don’t know what you don’t know. What I hear is:
- “We don’t know much about what we’re going to do.”
- “We’re worried about the time it will take to do it. But there’s no reason to make a plan!”
- “When we’re totally screwed up by having tried something without thinking about it in advance, we’ll need time out to think. But we’ll be in a reactive mode then, with no time to think.”
- Invite people to imagine emergency response services without planning or exercises. Pretty convincing!
- Make a time and energy commitment to thinking and planning.
- Ask hard questions and devote time to answering them.