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Plan Is a Four Letter Word

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Plan Is a Four Letter Word

At the Table with Patrick Lencioni

At the Table,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Plans are straightjackets. Principles are guardrails. 

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Common wisdom dictates if you want to reach a goal, have a plan. But how do you plan in a world that changes by the minute? In this episode of his podcast, At the Table, best-selling author Patrick Lencioni and his team discuss how to execute a strategy without being boxed-in by a plan. They urge you to identify your “north star” by answering six existential questions about your organization – and then leave ample leeway for course correction.


Plans don’t give you the flexibility you need to stay agile in an uncertain environment.

In the past, business success came from drawing up a sensible plan and executing it. This approach is a recipe for failure in today’s fast-changing world. Ditching five- or ten-year business plans doesn’t mean making decisions on a whim. Rather, it means replacing plans with “north stars” that define the purpose and values of your organization but leave ample flexibility for how to implement these strategic anchors.

Although there’s nothing wrong with making a plan, look at it like a wish, not a promise. Don’t feel guilty if you need to forgo your plan due to unforeseen circumstances. You can scrap a plan ...

About the Podcast

Best-selling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a TeamPatrick Lencioni founded The Table Group, which consults companies on organizational health and leadership. His podcast, At the Table, offers practical advice for everyday leaders.

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