Details are a dime a dozen.

So says Mike Dooley in a video I just watched.

He stressed that getting too attached to one particular method leaves out other possibilities for how to reach your goal.

His talk reminded me of when we first start with a group using our Picturing the Future process. We ask participants to imagine the future of their organization in 3-5 years. What outcomes would they like to have achieved, avoided, or preserved at that point? 

Sometimes we start this process by asking people to form a human histogram. On one side stand those who love getting things done -- implementing the details and the "hows." On the other end are those who love coming up with strategies -- imagining the "whats" for the organization's future. We ask those on the "how" end of the spectrum to be patient as we go through a process that comes much more naturally to those on the "what" end.

Mike Dooley had a great analogy for how to get what you really want -- using a digital GPS. To use a GPS, you first need to decide on your destination. Once you tell the GPS where you want to go, it can help you figure out the best of many possible paths to get there.

The second step is to put your car in gear. He jokes that you won't get to your goal by keeping your car in park. Mike stresses that you don't need to worry about which road you start out on, as the GPS will quickly redirect you on the best path toward your goal. Finally, he cautions not to judge your progress by your physical senses -- things around you may look unfamiliar as you near your new destination.

So even though we can't reach our end destination without getting into details and "hows", this was a great reminder of why it is so important to first get clear on the outcomes we want to achieve. Then we can listen for our GPS to guide us on the best way to get to our desired destination.

Diana is the chief operations officer and project manager for Trebuchet Group.

Diana is the chief operations officer and project manager for Trebuchet Group.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo