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An Idea Without a Plan is a Pipe Dream

January 18, 2011 Mike Rose

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The Way One is the chief vision officer. They are the passion and the torch bearers. They are the idea people who sees a challenge and says “Why not?” They are the dreamers, the innovators, and the grand architects. Entrepreneurs probably have more passion than most because they are more of a pioneer spirit. Great executives, too, have passion, but they are usually working in known territory. A startup entrepreneur, I believe, is working without a net.

Way Ones have to think in terms as broad as the horizon. This is why businesses are able to plan in terms as large as 99-year leases and 20-year objectives. It’s why small businesses and lone entrepreneurs are able to come along and do what others have said can’t be done.

They contribute the vision. The vision is the desired or intended future state of an organization in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. In my experience, not everyone can see the same vision as the Way One.

They have to see everything from – as the saying goes – 40,000 feet, details are not important, but they must consider all elements. Their vision is the far-reaching arc and trajectory established by the one in the Way One seat. It is their responsibility to see it all. It is their responsibility to see not just what is, but what could be. They look and don’t just ask “why?” but “why not.”

Consider the business venture of a sailing ship back in the era of exploration.

Declaring a bold vision, one of the most difficult things to do – more ventures fail than succeed – but it is also one of the easiest. It’s one thing to say “I want to set sail beyond that horizon.” It takes bravery, boldness, and an uncommon belief that whatever is beyond that horizon, can be made into a good. But if it were easy, as I like to say, “everyone would have a plan to do it.”  Because the one who sits in the Way One seat, must have a plan to achieve that vision just as surely as they declared that vision.

All fine and good, but now how does one get there?

Ahh...that's what Return on Energy is all about.

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