When I was touring the Old Courthouse in St. Louis (now a museum), I came across a pile of boxes pushed off to the side of an exhibit. One was open, so, being the marketing geek that I am, I will admit that I peeked into the Federal property to see their latest National Park Service campaign.

What I found wasn’t their newest marketing efforts, rather a previous one. The thought, expense and effort that went into it were all wasted as it sat, nearly untouched, in the corner. The planners had presumably done due diligence on the front end but failed to get buy-in from those who would actually implement it.

How many times have we each been guilty of doing the same thing? Administrators create a sensible new policy but don’t share the rationale with those on the front end. Product developers create the latest new gadget without asking targeted users whether it meets their needs. Politicians enact new regulations without understanding the impact on those who must follow them.

Don’t stop short when you are doing your planning. Handing off the baton is not enough; you must stay engaged in both strategy and implementation until the finish line, not just until completing your leg of the run.


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