Perspective Before Planning

We’re talking about PLANNING, and an important aspect of planning comes early in the process, and it’s called PERSPECTIVE.

I recently attended a training course, and one of the thoughts I came home with as this:

“Perspective before Planning” Tom Paterson

Pete Richardson shares, “Perspective is seeing things without distortion, correctly reading the signals of what is unfolding. Perspective is the result of finding truth and new realities before they have happened. It is also a matter of squarely facing existing truths….If you are in right perspective, the core plan almost writes itself.”

I don’t know about you, but when I get an idea or am making a plan, I often sprint towards action, making quick decisions, putting things in place, and moving rapidly towards completing the plan.

I sometimes confuse the word “planning” with “execution”.

The dictionary defines PLAN:  “A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something”

Do you see the word?  PROPOSAL.

When we plan, the idea is we take the time to think through the idea, we create the steps needed to accomplish that idea, and we create an intentional step-by-step process to achieve it. A plan is a plan.

It’s easy for PLANNING and EXECUTION to merge into one process.

Today, I want to encourage you to slow down a little bit. When you think about making a plan for anything, realize that you need to put some energy into creating the plan.

One of the best ways to do that is to begin with PERSPECTIVE.

Here are 5 ways to get a NEW perspective on something you’re working on:

#1) STOP

Sometimes, we need to simply stop working on something, set it aside, and let it sit. Sometimes this isn’t possible. I’ve found that sometimes I’m too close, and need to step back a little bit. Set it aside for 24 hours, or a week if you can. This allows you to take a break, and when you come back, you might see things differently.


Take some time to learn from your past. Ask question. Gain perspective from people within your organization and from outside your organization. Learn from others that might be doing a similar idea. We learn so much when we ask questions, when we look back, when we listen. Don’t skip this step! It takes time, but it’s worth it.


I often ask others what they see. I value their opinions, that doesn’t mean I always agree with them. Take the risk of asking others for ideas, thoughts, criticism and feedback. I’ve gotten some great help when I take the time to get others perspective.  It’s even valuable if they’re not involved in any way in what you’re doing.

#4) DO A 360

The idea here is that you look at a plan or idea from all sides. Consider the impact, the execution, the leadership. Look at all angles of the idea in your planning. This is especially important when you are the one leading it. Think like a recipient or a customer. Think like a manager or a leader. Think like a trustee or a board member.


Is there a way to test your idea? Try it out on some people by creating a test group or a beta test. Often we rush forward, but we can learn a lot by trying it out on some people. The time this takes is always worth it in the things we learn from the practice.

All 5 of the things above is connected to PERSPECTIVE. Instead of rushing into a new project, turn your excitement and enthusiasm towards learning from perspective. It will increase your impact and your success!

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