There's only one thing worse than a bad plan....a good plan with bad implementation.
I'm a planner. I value not only the plan, but the process of defining strategy and setting expectations. Unfortunately, too many good plans get a bad rap. No matter how good the plan is, without adequate support - time, priority and financial - it will fail. If you're able to sweep the failure aside and move on, good for you, but in most cases the consequences of losing extend well beyond the obvious failure, including:
1. Risk Aversion - For every failed plan, you're less likely to take the risk necessary to achieve success in the future.
2. Misdirected Blame - Once a plan fails, we're most likely to blame the plan, not the execution. I've sat with many clients who say, "We tried that. It didn't work." Many times I'm certain that it wasn't the idea that was wrong. But most of these good plans will never get another chance.
3. Loser Syndrome - Teams or individuals that lose start to experience a loser mentality. In my first years in marketing, I was part of a brilliant team. Strangely, this team of successful people was collectively a failure. Looking back, I realize that the team had experienced too many losses to ever win. We had loser syndrome.
Unfortunately, these consequences follow losses in all areas of life...from major boardroom initiatives to the simple parenting strategies that lack follow through.
Don't give up on planning and trying new things. But before implementing the next plan, evaluate the investment you're prepared to make. When a plan isn't successful but you know you gave it all you've got, there's much to be learned. When it fails due to poor execution, there is much more to be lost than you may realize.
Have you experienced any of these (or other) consequences of a failed plan?