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Notorious quote from the manager Chad while working as a merchandising specialist for Old Navy while completing my advertising/psychology degree at Texas State University.

For some reason this has always stuck with me. In this context, it was why I shouldn’t stay out too late when I know I have a 5 a.m. shift the following morning.

How has this been applied since then? I’m not giving Chad all the credit, but I am a fairly compulsive planner when it comes to business development and strategy.

  • Design Research: To avoid unintended consequences, we must identify and plan for as many variables as possible. These practices can be aimed at internal processes and operations as well as external revenue drivers and branding initiatives.
  • Program Development: Driven by full funnel consideration we determine how the right audience finds your brand, engages with your products and people, transitions to customers or members, how will they be on-boarded, nurtured and developed into referral advocates.
  • Product Management: Too often products are road mapped with the ambition of seeing what can be created without enough consideration of who will actually be using it. Optimum customer experience considers when/where/how and a product is used from the onset – I make sure we consider end user perspective long before beta testing and QA.
  • Strategic Go-To-Market Plan Design: Flawless execution is only possible with meticulous planning. Strategic design has to consider what your resources are now while predicting what they will become. The more accurately we plan for all conditions the higher our chances at success will be.

Something else I’ve learned along the way is that when done well, planning and high level execution is invisible. Things just work like magic!

On the flip side, this is why so many people struggle to understand why things are NOT working – without planning there is likely a lack of milestones, metrics, and other opportunities to navigate troubleshooting a problem.

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