Marion put the final touches on her plan for 2011. Impressive, detailed, some 10 pages in length.
“Brilliant!” I exclaimed, with all the enthusiasm of a Guinness commercial. “Very articulate. How long did it take for your team to put this together?”
Marion sat up with pride, “Why, thank you, but I have to take most of the credit. I worked over the weekend. I mean, I am sure that some of the ideas came from my team. I mean, if I had asked them, I am sure they would agree with most of the plan.”
“So, has your team seen this plan, yet?” I asked.
“No, we’re under a pretty tight deadline. I didn’t want to bother them.”
“So, exactly when do you intend to take the time with your team to talk about it?”
“Well, you know my team, once they start talking about it, they will spend all day.”
“So, exactly when do you intend to take that day for your team to talk about it?”
“Well, we really don’t have the time, just talking about it, you know?”
I nodded in agreement. “I know you don’t have the time to spend, but you will spend it nonetheless. My question is when do you want to spend it?”
“What do you mean?” Marion asked.
“I mean, do you want to spend time talking about the plan when you are planning or when you are in the middle of a crunch-tight deadline for your customer?
“Here’s the story, Marion. Your team will participate in the thinking that goes into this plan. They decide that. All you get to decide is when. You can decide for them to participate on the front end, or the team will decide to talk about it on the back end.”