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I suspect you’ve heard the expression “losing the forest for the tree.”  The sentiment is that we lose sight of the big picture and end up overly focused on some smaller portion of the big picture.

In reality, I think many of us are expected to navigate and bounce back and forth between the big picture and some detailed aspect of the larger vision.  That’s probably not the issue.

But how many times do you see someone lose sight of the big picture or the detailed picture for a squirrel (aka a distraction)?  Your boss’ priorities rapidly change based on some directive from above, some industry magazine, or some operational concern.  When we lose site of our direction (big picture or little) and direct our attention elsewhere we are at much greater risk for missing out on progress.

Strategic planning is a great thing when followed by deliberate action over time.  Changing the plan is even a good thing upon reflection and as a function of course correction.  Changing the plan every 10 days isn’t agility, it’s immaturity and runs the risk of progress looking like wandering around.

Don’t make omniscience the requirement for your planning, but also don’t let what you read during a break in the coffee room completely alter your plans.  Remember, deliberate action over time wins the race.