Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

screwit-325x500Nike’s “Just do it” derived from Gary Gilmore’s last words before he was executed. Richard Branson’s “Screw it, let’s do it” is about making good ideas happen, not treating every idea as good.

When managers are frustrated, deadlines loom, issues are urgent or crises threaten, then it’s so easy to be stampeded into taking quick action – under-planned and under-evaluated action.

There’s nearly always time to devise a strategy and plan its delivery. There’s nearly always time to check whether ideas are truly good or merely appear so, whether they can deliver optimal outcomes, or whether a more considered approach can do better. You must resist the pressure to start doing things before you have a plan.

When you haven’t got the time to plan, you either need a plan in the bottom drawer ready to pull out – because you’ve already prepared a crisis management plan – or you need to find a way to defer the frustration, deadline, urgency or threat – even if it is just for an hour or two.

“Just do it” is a recipe for business death, and “Screw it, let’s do it” only works once ideas are tested.

(“Don’t just do something, sit there” is the title of a 1996 book by Sylvia Boorstein – I am not sure who first said it.)
(This post is an edited version of a similar post on Mike Smith’s personal blog)

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services:; Ethical strategies and programs which get you where you need to go ... * Exceptional government & stakeholder relations, * Thriving governance systems, * Specialised project facilitation, * Inbound investment assistance, * Successful marketing, communications and PR campaigns ... and customised training in each of these areas.

Posted on September 17, 2014, in campaigning, Change, Culture, Government Relations, how to lobby, Lobbying, marketing, Planning, Strategy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. And this:

    “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

    Misattributed to Sun Tzu

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