Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 9/01/2008

Speed: It's the way businesses operate today. No longer can business leaders have the luxury to take their time to move forward with strategic plans. The leaders of the future have to evaluate the situation, assimilate what they learn with what they already know and rapidly move forward with a modified plan.

The Marine Corps have a saying for their leaders, "A plan that is 70% complete implemented today is better than a plan that is 100% complete implemented in the future." The remaining 30% of the plan will be worked out as they go. This is the mindset of the leaders of tomorrow.

Jeff Wilke of Amazon explained how quickly their business was unfolding:

"So now all of a sudden you're in this period of wonderful transformation and we know it. I mean it's alive, it's tangible. Every day you sense that there's a chance to create new markets, to redistribute the players in the old markets as they shift over to the new one.... This company transforms itself on the order of months versus a number of years in an older, more established company. And the fact that you're reinventing yourself as a company means the people associated with that company have to reinvent themselves."

Reinventing yourself is hard. It requires humility and a desire to focus on the big picture goal. If winning is important you have to be completely focused on whatever strategy brings you a win. The strategy can be changed but not winning is not an option.

Successful businesses of the future must operate with a sense of urgency and agility. Learn how to think on your feet and make solid decision quickly. Commit to them and move forward with confidence. Remember... it's better to implement a plan today that is 70% there rather than to wait for a perfect plan in the future.