Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Decide Upon a Plan

There is a specific order that Jim Phelps goes through to accomplish the mission. 
Do you ever think there was an episode where Mr. Phelps said, “I think I’ll just grab a few random people, fly to Europe and see if we can wing it.”
The first thing he did was to decide upon a plan of action.  This is crucial.  He saw what he needed to accomplish by the end of the mission and backward planned, step by step, how to get from where he was to where he needed to be.  By breaking the plan down into small enough steps, each one of them could be accomplished easily.  Together, they accomplished the mission others thought was impossible. 
At our utilities, we can do the same thing.  Close your eyes.  Picture the perfect utility in your mind.  Now open your eye and realize that you are not there yet.  Then make a conscious decision to do what it takes to get you to that vision of perfection that you had in your head. Backwards plan from “perfect” all the way back to where you are today. 
For instance, if you need funding for a major upgrade, a rate increase might seem impossible to pass in this economy. To accomplish this, you might backwards plan in this manner:
To get additional funding, pass rate increase.
To pass rate increase, gain support of Board (and the politicians that make up your Board).
To gain this support, lower pushback from the public.
To lower pushback, communicate value effectively to customers.
To communicate value, actively engage customers.
To engage customers, increase customer service and the public presence of utility.
To increase customer service, lead by example to show all employees that customers should be treated with great respect and care, instead of as interruptions in our work.      
To increase public presence, visibly support activities that the public embraces.
As you can see, none of these steps alone seems “impossible”, yet together, they enable you to accomplish a seemingly impossible task!
ACTION:  What is your plan to get where you need to be?

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