Laboring From Idea to Plan

by Onyeka Nchege on September 2, 2014

strategyIn 1882, the first Labor Day parade took place in New York City to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the American worker. Since that initial parade, the first Monday of September rightfully observes the American workforce on a national level. For, throughout history, the American workforce has demonstrated its outstanding ability to hone ideas into lasting inventions through extensive planning.

Just as everything that has been invented in the past, exists today, and will exist in the future, the first thing that is needed is an idea. From airplanes to cellphones, our most significant contributions to the daily tools that are used today by most across the world began with the simple notion of an idea. No matter how outlandish they may seem during the period when they are conceived, ideas are the needed catalysts to inflict change.

To build and execute change, the immediate follow up to an idea needs to be planning. For example, the inventor Martin Cooper had the idea that people wanted the allowance of being able to communicate via a phone outside of their homes and cars. That thought led to a series of plans, which led to a series designs, which led to prototypes and implementations, which led to the concept of the mobile devices we use today. Hence, a plan is a derivative of an idea or a collection of ideas.

To follow along the same paths as those who have been a part of the American workforce and have derived plans from ideas to create inventions, the constant reality holds true that, “Success will always elude you if your ideas never turn to plans fueled by action”. To achieve success and move thru the ideation process, use the following guidelines to get a clear understanding of the differences between ideas and plans.

    Ideas are stimulating, mental impressions. Plans are action oriented, arranged methods.

    Ideas are detached. Plans are deliberate.

    Ideas are complimentary. Plans have costs.

    Ideas are limitless. Plans define limits.

    Ideas are entertained. Plans have an end game.

The key point to take from this is ideas are the initial phase of planning. Though ideas can be loose and lacking organization, they can be honed into goals. Plans are the actions needed to turn ideas into reality and achieve those goals.

Take Action: You can’t purpose in your mind to do something but never be about getting it done. In order for your ideas to become a reality, you have to plan and get it DONE!

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.



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Don’t Press the Panic Button

by Onyeka Nchege on August 19, 2014

Pushing the ButtonNervousness, anxiety, overwrought, overwhelmed, fearful, agitated; these are all catalysts to one feeling like they are in a state of panic. The panic state often leads to hasty, illogical decision making, which can result in worsening an already percieved bad situation or ceasing any momentum towards a destination. Before reaching over to press the proverbial “panic button”, you have to pause long enough to ask yourself, “is there anything I can do to prevent this”?.

My answer is always a resounding YES to this question. To provide a perfect example when the temptation of pushing the panic button seems like the most viable option, let me explain a situation we are currently experiencing within my organization.

We have recently acquired new sales branches and piloted them on the first release of a new technology platform. As with any pilot, we are still resolving a host of issues and will continue to do so until we roll out subsequent releases of the platform. This uncertainty can cause a state of panic to many unfamiliar with the realities of software development and deployment processes.

Avoiding the panic button is as simple as bringing all of the issues you are experiencing to the FORE-front. The FORE-front equates to: seeking and being receptive to Feedback, taking Ownership of the issues you are experiencing, remembering the Relationships you have in place and Executing on a new or altered plan that maneuvers you around the panic button.

    Feedback – a true measure of where you are and possibly where you are heading, is to listen to what those around you are saying. Listening to those around you, especially those working through issues on a daily basis, helps you to truly assess the situation and provide sound decisions.

    Ownership – before a sound decision can be reached, the situation has to be understood in totality and to truly understand something you have to possess it on some level. Taking ownership means you have to privately and publicly acknowledge the issues.

    Relationships – people believed in you enough to put you in the position to make the decision that led to the issues you are experiencing, so the important thing to remember is they believed in you once and most likely they still do. Transparency is the key to maintaining the trust you’ve built with them.

    Execution – once you have all of the facts and assessed the issues, it’s time to make a decision to alter your existing plan or institute a new one. A timely decision needs to be made, but remember that a hasty decision can put you back in the place where you currently are.

So when it feels as though the ground is beginning to shake beneath you and your mind is spinning at the force of a tornado, remember to back away from the nearest panic button. Bring everything to the FORE-front to avoid a hasty decision that can potentially put you back in a state of panic.

Take Action: If there is something driving you towards pressing the panic button, either from a personal or professional perspective, decide today to check out the FORE-front to help you maneuver around that panic button.

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.



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