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Intention Deficit Disorder


As a business strategy consultant, I am paid to think.  I offer my clients an objective viewpoint of their business and help them think differently about their company. I help them design strategy, implement leadership workshops, and an action plan for their business future. Some argue that they can do it themselves.  That is awesome, if they can.  However, I am one of those people who can help others with their objectivity, but I still need my own management consultant to help me with my own.  The reality is that we human beings have to work hard at being honest with ourselves.  This can be tricky in business.  We get caught up in day-to-day operations and forget to look from within at the big picture.  It is said that the subconscious interprets visually.  Yet, I find executive leaders forget to take time to visualize their future.  I spend time monthly strategically thinking about the future of Operational Strategies. I want to be as intentional and deliberate about my own business as my clients need to be when I work with them.

Steve Chandler, author of 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, makes a brilliant point in his book.  He says, “…. we suffer from a weird kind of intention deficit disorder.  We’re short on intention. We don’t know where we’re going or what we’re up to.”  (Boldness added for emphasis.) I have often had to get my clients to recognize they were taking a victim mentality.  They allow themselves to be victims of the economy, victims of the client, and victims of the media.  They do not control their businesses with intention and deliberateness.  They clearly have intention deficit disorder.  Unless those clients can change their perspective, I must admit to them and myself that I can’t help them and move myself on to the next opportunity.  It takes time and commitment to your business to create it.  When an organization creates a real strategic plan, they have made the commitment to build momentum to create their future business.  However, it isn’t enough to just plan it.  When a person creates something, she is actually committed to the action to make it happen. A business strategy should include step-by-step detail about who is doing what by when. It doesn’t take huge steps every day to make the plan become reality, but it does take consistent movement to make it come true.  It’s very painful to watch an organization in transformation give up because they weren’t committed enough to move forward a little bit each day.  Some executive leaders will give up when they can’t see giant advances being made immediately.  Strategy isn’t about the huge steps taken occasionally—it’s about those baby changes that will create the organization in the real world that they already created on paper.

Our brains were made to create.  Somewhere along the way, many people lose the capability to create because they have been told that dreaming and imagination are wrong.  Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” This year,  as you engage in your annual strategic planning sessions, take time to close your eyes and visualize specifically what you want your organization to look like.  Write your action plan to include the steps that can make your imagined future a reality.  Be the leader that will guide your organization to be what you want it to be.  Be intentional and deliberate.  There is a treatment for intention deficit disorder–it is called imagination!  Go create your organization.


1 Comment

  • Brad Closson September 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Create, create, create. Great post. It’s really a case of “use it, or lose it” it seems when it comes to imagination. Thanks for sharing Penny.

    Brad Closson
    Connective Management

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