I’m not very good at chess. When I was a kid, I would play against my Dad and I would be flummoxed when he would beat me every time. Eventually I figured it out. While I was trying to go after individual pieces, he had a plan to win the game. Every move he made was part of that plan.It was a useful lesson, and it applies to more than chess.
Most organizations have a master plan written by the board and most likely transcribed in a binder somewhere, although I’d wager that it’s fairly uncommon for you to use it as a reference. When you go about your daily routine, do you view the work you’re doing as part of the plan or as a series of tasks you need to get done? Do you have your sights on the king, or are you chasing a troublesome bishop?
Now, I wouldn’t advocate cracking open the Master Plan and reading from it at every staff meeting (although you certainly could), but I do always recommend making the Master Plan part of your organization’s shared knowledge and I encourage people to think about how the actions they’re taking fit into The Plan.
In the end, whether it’s a giant undertaking like adding a flagship event to your calendar or something as small as posting a picture to your Facebook page, think about why you’re doing it and what part of your plan that action is serving. A small success that serves your plan is going to do more for you than the most ambitious directionless project.