“Perfect as the Enemy of Good”….

There is a saying in the military as well as business, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”, and I’m not sure what caused this thought to pop into my head yesterday. When making a plan or trying to find a solution to something, there are times when you aren’t likely to have the perfect plan. That is not to say you shouldn’t plan carefully and do as much analysis as is practical. If you are dealing with a committee/group decision situation, a single individual can keep coming up with “what ifs” or concerns that cause a decision about what to do to be delayed indefinitely.

The flip side to that, however, is the military saying of, “No plan survives first contact”. In other words, once you engage in an operation, it can come apart. While it may seem contradictory to move ahead with a plan even if you don’t have it exactly as you want, it isn’t really. The ability to accurately assess a situation and realize you need to adapt is important, too. We are human and make mistakes which, if properly applied, provides good lessons. Granted, some can be fatal, yet most aren’t. There may be some pain and even humiliation involved, and I have had my share of both. I am on the periphery of a rather ambitious plan being undertaken by an organization and I suppose that’s why I got to thinking about the above saying. I was quite skeptical of initial discussions, although I wasn’t in a position to be consulted, nor did I want to engage. In learning a little more, I think “good enough” plan is accurate and if successful, it will be a plus for the community. I’m not sure though how much adapting can be done if anything major goes wrong, so I will cross my fingers, too – can’t hurt.

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