1. In planning, the “middle” is gone. You only have to define two points: where you plan to be 10 to 25 years from now and what you have to do in the next 90 days. The latter point requires real time data and an executive team that can face the brutal reality of what the data is saying and then act accordingly. You don’t want to fall in love with your own one to three year plans.
2. Keep everything stupidly simple. If your strategies, plans, decisions, systems, etc. seem complicated, they are probably wrong.
3. The best data is firsthand data. It’s why the entire executive team of GE comes to Crotonville each month to “teach.” Hanging out with GE managers from around the world along with key customers (letting customers attend Crotonville sessions is key to GE’s value proposition) lets the top executives find out what is really going on. It circles back to point #1 and the importance of real time data. And aligning with the importance of having only a few priorities, Jack Welch, the retired CEO of GE, had only four #1 priorities the entire two decades he was GE’s leader.