Quotes about implementation
September 21, 2017 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for quotes that say that having a vision is not enough for a strategy, it also needs a plan for implementation and the allocation and co-ordination of resources. Basically something that sums up that it's not enough to have an idea, there needs to be a practical method for making it happen also. The pithier the quote and the loftier the source the better!
posted by roolya_boolya to Writing & Language (22 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sure you want something more elaborate, but the one that gets used a lot is "Ideas are easy - execution is hard". No idea who said it first.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:03 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration?
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:04 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Chris Guillebeau signs off his Side Hustle School podcast with "Inspiration is good, but inspiration combined with action is so much better." It's a little long, but it's the same idea.

I looked through some of the #MondayMotivation posts I made for work, and here were some that jumped out:

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." --Lao Tsu

"Action is the foundational key to all success." --Pablo Picasso

"Words may inspire, but only action creates change." --Simon Sinek

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." --Japanese proverb
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:27 AM on September 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

1. Some idea.
2. Some thing.
3. ????
4. Profit.

(edit:TIL, From no less venerable a source than South Park.)
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:39 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

I like "Hope is not a plan."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:42 AM on September 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

"Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts." Timothy R. Botts
posted by summerstorm at 7:44 AM on September 21, 2017

Thomas Edison or Henry Ford or whoever (who knows) said, "Vision without execution is hallucination."
posted by carmicha at 7:46 AM on September 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

A dream without a plan is just a wish - Katherine Patterson

A goal without a plan is just a wish- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Attributions are based on a quick google and may not be correct.
posted by bunderful at 7:54 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

A vision without a task is but a dream.
A task without vision is but drudgery.
A vision and a task are the hope of the world.

— attributed to a wall/window/doorway inscription somewhere in England, sometime in the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries
posted by brentajones at 7:57 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

“Don’t dream it, Be it”
posted by pearlybob at 7:59 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Real artists ship." -- attributed to Steve Jobs
posted by reren at 8:40 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

A goal is an idea with a deadline.
posted by rhizome at 9:15 AM on September 21, 2017

This is a paraphrase, not a quote, from Donald E Lancaster, author of the TTL Cookbook and a wide variety of other interesting stuff. Bright ideas are a dollar a bushel. The effective engineer gets paid for solving problems, not thinking up bright ideas.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

'There's many a slip between cup and lip' -- J M Keynes.
posted by jamjam at 9:50 AM on September 21, 2017

"Hope is not a strategy." Attributed variously, and probably incorrectly, to Vince Lombardi, Rudy Giuliani, and James Cameron.
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:35 AM on September 21, 2017

"It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it". (Fun Boy Three & Bananarama, 1982)
posted by rollick at 11:22 AM on September 21, 2017

"Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics." (Gets attributed to Gen. Omar Bradley, but he probably didn't say it.)
posted by LizardBreath at 12:00 PM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Taking care of business, or TCB. It's not so much a quote as a slogan, but it is short & from a lofty source (Elvis Presley! it's what he called his backup band). It's something we say all the time around our house when we're switching into getting-stuff-done mode.

Also, the "taking care of business in a flash" variant comes with a nifty logo (which Elvis had painted on his plane):


posted by miles per flower at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Drucker
posted by fake at 2:58 PM on September 21, 2017

Those are all great answers but they also make me realise I was remiss in asking for pithy. I think I need something a bit longer and more descriptive!
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:25 PM on September 21, 2017

Well, I see that you would like a quote, preferably something complete and descriptive. This isn't an answer per se, because I don't have time to find a good one right now. But have you considered that what you are asking is basically the heart of all military activity (unless I am mistaken)? I see Omar Bradley was quoted by LizardBreath above.

There are many Web sites for military organizations and, perhaps more useful for you, war colleges and academies. I think you would search for the importance of logistics. I was only able to quickly find this one, but I imagine there is a ton of others:

"I am tempted to make a slightly exaggerated statement: that logistics is all of war-making, except shooting the guns, releasing the bombs, and firing the torpedoes."
- ADM Lynde D. McCormick, USN
posted by forthright at 5:14 AM on September 22, 2017

My work is largely about implementation and I have this poster on my wall: http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/10/we-have-a-strategic-plan-2.html
posted by marylynn at 8:05 PM on September 27, 2017

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