The PlayBook™ – Tactical Planning

  • The Tactical portion displays an annual approach
  • Highly targeted on shorter term goals – enables nimble performance
  • Complements the Strategic portion and weaves into its expectations

Have a bias towards action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.

                                                                                     Indira Gandhi

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.

                                                                                     Peter F. Drucker

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

                                                                                     Pablo Picasso

Annual plans are nothing new. Contact virtually any business and they will have one.  So, why is the PlayBook™ different?

Vision and Action Clarity.

What the PlayBook’s isn’t.  Does anyone remember the hilarious Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein?  In it, Gene Wilder acts as the fictitious grandson of the infamous Baron Von Frankenstein.  During his first night in his grandfather’s castle, he discovers a secret passage.  He follows the predictably eerie stairway down into a mysterious room where he discovers a musty old book, How I Did It, authored by the Baron, sitting on a table.  Presumably, Wilder’s character follows the prescription as closely as possible with predictably screwball results.

While clarity and specificity are vital in an effective annual PlayBook™, predicting the “how” of a plan’s execution would be disastrous.  Remember that the PlayBook™ is distributed throughout the enterprise.  Team members are encouraged to keep it with them for reference on a daily basis.  They wouldn’t want to carry a “cookbook” that limits their autonomy.  We have repeatedly stressed that engagement rises when the members believe that what they do is meaningful and that what they do matters.  Telling them how to do something robs them of their agency.

What the PlayBook™ does instead is continuously energize action.  Having a high level of clarity for what is expected establishes a solid platform for performance.  While following outlined processes, team members have a clear field to develop their own solutions to the challenges presented.  This autonomy is important in affirming that what each participant does is meaningful.

To do this, it is not enough to simply declare the goal and write it down.  It is vital that each objective articulate four things:

Each annual objective must be tied to at least one of the pillars created in the strategic portion of the PlayBook™.  In addition, there must be an “owner” and a deadline for its achievement.

There must be a clear and vivid vision statement for every objective.  It is backed up by a specific affirmation tied to the vision statement.  The affirmation is a one sentence statement that explicitly describes the action taken in the vision statement as though already completed and the accompanying emotion experienced due to its attainment.  It is not enough to simply outline the goal, the emotional content acts as a booster for the energy needed to succeed.

To ensure that the team is on track, they must also outline milestones that they expect to achieve on the way to attaining the objectives.

Members must be able to connect the objectives to the purpose of the organization.

When organizations achieve this level of clarity, and afford their team members the autonomy to act and provide solutions, it sets the stage for a robust effort enterprise wide.  By engaging the team members in the development of the objectives and especially the milestones, they unleash their discretionary energy in the pursuit of the organization’s goals and their own satisfaction.

Members are encouraged to keep their PlayBooks with them and refer to them frequently.  Often, circumstances require adjustments to the annual playbook.  This information can be added to the existing pages, keeping the document alive throughout the year.  This further enhances the autonomy and meaningful contributions team members employ.  Keeping the objectives top of mind in this fashion enhances focus and promotes solutions.

We will talk more about employees’ discretionary energy and ways to cause team members to engage with it in upcoming discussions.

Ready, Mindset, Grow!

Ready, Mindset, Grow!: Nuggets Mined from the Leadership Journeys

Business leadership books abound today. What makes this one worth the read? Actionable insights! Ready, Mindset, Grow, delivers to today’s leaders entertaining stories of the transformative power of culture. Backed by solid research, these brief tales, and the lessons they convey, can be put into practice for short-term wins and long-term growth. Entertaining and insightful, the author has filled the pages with cultural nuggets and jewels from his 30+ years of experience in leadership coaching and consulting. Smart leaders will appreciate the candor, catch glimpses into their own circumstances and gain the conviction needed to accomplish positive cultural change.


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