Real Wisdom: Part 1: Planning

by Jack

Part 1 of a 3-part series.

You always end up with the results of the plan that you execute.

Plan

I am guilty of wanting to jump in with both feet before checking the depth of the water or whether or not it’s shark-infested. Some say it’s the hallmark of the adventurer, the entrepreneur, and the brave. The sad reality is that it’s the hallmark of the short-sighted fool. If we get lucky, and we don’t hit any rocks or end up in a shark’s belly, it can be a fun experience. The trouble is that the one time we crack our skulls on unseen stones is enough to cancel out any fluke successes we got the times before.

I’ve found that the longer I stay in a given industry (and I’ve been in a few now: food service, education, and game production) the more I see the older and wiser laborers always working from a meticulously crafted plan.

So why plan? Why not be spontaneous, wild, and free? Screw planning, it’s too much like rules. Or worse, it’s too much like work.

Here’s a reality check: planning is the stage where we’re supposed to go wild. It’s the only place where we can throw out the rulebook and see what sticks to the walls. It’s the place to think outside the box and go off on insane and impossible tangents. Here a person could spend years dreaming and wandering until they’re satisfied they have enough of a foundation to start building.

If it’s one solid truism about production that I’ve learned in the past 12 years, it’s that nothing beats a solid plan. Sure, it’s impossible to plan for everything but planning for nothing will usually result in nothing, and we’re going for tangible results here.

Continue to part 2: Executing.