The conversation took place several years ago, but I'll never forget it. I was trying to sell a brilliant solution to a purchasing manager in a large, global company. This manager was the epitome of someone in a large organization who didn't quit and leave the company--he quit and stayed. . .
As I presented the concept, this guy leaned back in his chair and kind of growled, "You know what I do when the guys upstairs tell me to do something? I don't do anything."
My face and those of my colleagues must have appeared a bit incredulous so he continued. "I don't do anything until they push me because as soon as I start doing what they said, they'll read another book and then they'll tell me to do something else. So I just don't do anything until they force me."
Somewhere in that company, senior leaders carefully craft strategies and tactical plans that they are convinced will propel their organization to success. And deep in the bowels of that company are guys like the one I met, whose daily decisions make or break management's sincere efforts.
Companies across the globe spend countless hours engaged in well-intentioned strategic planning sessions often forgetting that success is not defined by strategy as much as it is determined by the decisions managers make each day about how they will allocate an organization's resources toward resolving problems and capturing opportunities.
Effective strategic planning can be a vital component to corporate growth. But after the Power Point presentations are done and the spreadsheets are filed away, what people do--or don't do-- ultimately determines an organization's future.