Written words are powerful.
Think about it.
When we put something in writing, there’s a sense of permanency.
If we want to make something official, we’re told to “put it in writing.”
When we make an agreement, we write a contract. Life insurance, wills, housing contracts, bills of sale. All written. All legally binding.
Think of the founding of this country. People could stand up and talk and yell and argue their opinions about independence, but once the Declaration of Independence was written and signed, a world-transforming movement began.
Writing also implies accountability and stewardship.
If you have a written set of rules and someone breaks one of them, you have a point of reference.
If my wife gives me a written grocery list and I come home without one of the items, I can’t say I didn’t know.
If you write your “bucket list,” you have a written record that allows for measurement. If you go skydiving, you have something to check off the list. If you never read War and Peace, that unchecked item will dog you until you do.
Organizations need written goals, plans, vision and mission statements.
Having these plans in writing provides clarity of vision with a roadmap.
A written plan provides a gauge. If someone comes to you with a new idea, you can check it against the plan. Does it fit? Yes. Then do it. If not, maybe it’s something to consider for next year. Or use that wonderful, freeing word: “No.”
Yes, adjustments can be made. And flexibility should be budgeted for and built into a plan. But, once a plan is agreed upon, each new adjustment should be carefully considered. You don’t want to pull resources from a planned item to accomplish a new thing and then leave yourself short.
Some people will argue against a written plan. And it’s probably due to a fear of accountability, or the fear of commitment.
Do you have written plans or do you just ‘wing it?’ How’s it working?