Knowing When to Ditch Your Plan is Key to Success

With the ICC Cricket World Cup in full swing, it seems to be the subject that dominates all conversations and discussions. One of the most awaited matches of the tournament was the India Pakistan face off which happened on June 16.

Before the match, there seemed to be a consensus that it was a seaming pitch, more favourable to bowlers. So, it wasn’t surprising that when Pakistan won the toss, it chose to bowl first. When the match started, it quickly became obvious that this was not the case. Indian batsmen went after the ball guns blazing, hitting boundaries and sixes with gusto.

Puzzlingly enough, Pakistani batsmen still continued to bowl shorter balls, making it easier for the batsman to take them to the cleaners. Bowling short would have been a good strategy if the pitch had indeed been a seaming pitch. But given that the on-ground situation was different, it would have made sense for the Pakistani bowlers to alter their strategy to address this new reality. But this did not happen, and India went on to score a massive 336 runs and eventually won the match.

We’ve seen this happen often enough in corporate life too. You study the market, formulate your strategy and go about executing it. In several instances, you realize that the situation on the ground is different from the one that you planned for. This could either be because you initially misread the situation or because something changed.

Either way, sticking to your strategy in the changed reality is unlikely to bring you the results that you were looking for. Far too many organisations continue to push through with their original strategy simply because they are not agile or nimble or courageous enough to change course midway.

Yet, your ability to read the situation and adapt could be the most critical success factor.