May  2021     Edition 156
D.A.R.N. Thinking

We set goals, make plans, create strategies, and forge ahead on the road to success

.  Unfortunately, the road isn
t always smooth, and sometimes not even open.  When executing towards an objective, and an incident occurs that blocks your path, think about D.A.R.N. to plan your reaction and course.


D.A.R.N. (Detour, Alternative, Revise, New)

There are often obstacles in the way of achieving your goal.   Making a quick assessment regarding the magnitude of the obstacle and method forward will maximize the opportunity to recover.   Does the obstacle require just a


?  Perhaps you might need an


method to get to your destination?   Is the obstacle of the magnitude that you need to


your plan.   Have conditions changed that requires an entirely


strategy and plan?


Detour to your Objective

A slight change or deviation from your course to get to your destination, your goal, and implement your strategy.
  • You
    re driving and the road ahead is blocked.  Everyone is exiting, taking the frontage road for a few miles, then getting back on the road.   We call this a Detour.  The detour puts you on a slightly different path to your destination. The method stays the same, i.e. you
    re driving in your car.   What changes is your tactics, i.e., the route to get there.  
  • If you
    re hanging something on the wall, you might start out with a small picture hook, but realize it
    s too small and use a bigger one.  
  • If you
    re managing a project and someone on your team leaves for another opportunity, you might distribute the load to the other team members, until you hire a replacement.
  • There is a equipment failure in your manufacturing line, so when it comes back up you temporarily go to a second shift in order to catch up.
  • When Covid hit, eateries who already had a significant take-out business, added curb side pickup.



Alternative method to your objective

When you realize that there are no detours, and you have to change the way you are implementing or reaching the goal.
  • Let
    s say you
    re driving along, and your engine overheads and ceases.  Your old car is ready for the junk yard.  You use an Alternative method to get to your destination, i.e. you rent a car, or take a train or a plane. 
  • If that nail ends up in drywall, you will choose an alternative method, such as a drywall anchor.  
  • You might find that hiring a replacement is not easily achievable, so you outsource or hire a contractor.
  • There is a delay in the deliverable of your raw materials from your existing supplier.  You find another supplier for your raw materials.
  • When Covid hit, many eateries added take out and outdoor dining to stay in business.  Headscratchers revised it
    s training delivery plan to virtual training.


Revise your objective

When you realize that the obstacles to your goal are significant to the point where you have to be flexible and revise your objective.
  • You
    re ready for your trip, and the weather report says there will be a hurricane at your destination about the time you expect to get there.  You Revise your plan and decide to take your vacation elsewhere.  
  • You realize that there is a steel beam right where you want to hang your picture.  You decide to hang it somewhere else.  
  • The person who left was working on a critical piece of your product and the knowledge to implement will take more time to learn.  You decide to Revise the schedule for delivery. 
  • The cost and complexity of manufacturing some of your components is a drag on your financials.  You revise your manufacturing method and outsource some of your manufacturing.
  • When Covid hit, many eateries significantly reduced staff as they shrunk their expenses to survive.   They changed their menus and hours to accommodate a survival mode strategy and added outside services to deliver (e.g. Doordash)



New Objective

When you realize that the goal is no longer desirable, achievable, or strategically aligned with your mission, you need a completely new goal and destination.
  • You
    re ready to go on vacation, and two members of your family become ill and can
    t travel.   You create an entirely New plan to spend time with your family at home. 
  • Instead of hanging a picture on that stubborn wall you create a new plan and decide to accent the wall with a highlight color.   
  • The revised schedule for delivery will severely impact the project.  You create a New strategy for the project that will phase the deliverables so that the project can move forward.
  • Your customer needs are changing.   You implement an obsolesce strategy for those products that will no longer be needed and re-tool your product line and services to accommodate your customer future need. 
  • When Covid hit, many eateries just closed shop and the owners found other businesses, sold their business, or retired.


The Takeaway
:  The Takeaway:   When the road ahead is blocked, determine if your course change requires a Detour, Alternative Method, Revised, or New Plan. (D.A.R.N.).   Understanding this early on can help preserve time and capital and speed your way to the destination.

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