Dear CMO:

Akio Morita, my old boss back in the day, was a great fan of the “ready, shoot, aim” school of business. Don’t over-think things. Let inspiration do its work and you do yours and we’ll all do fine. I didn’t really buy into all that at the time — which was a good thing, because I needed to focus on discipline at that point of my career — but his lesson resonates strongly with me now.

Doing something — anything — always beats doing nothing.

Don’t get me wrong — planning, research, thoughtfulness, discipline, the value of goofing off, thinking things through, et cetera ad nauseum — are all virtues to be held in high regard. If you’ve been a reader over time, you know I spend a lot of time on this point. But dreamers always lose to pragmatists. Before we get into a verbal pie fight over this, let me illustrate the point so you understand clearly what I have in mind.

Have you been close to a company that is constantly delaying a launch because a new idea just came up that really, really needs to be incorporated in this particular release?

Have you ever worked for a company that has more ideas than projects? That is constantly spinning new and often brilliant ideas out into thin air without any (or at least many) ever seeing the light of day?

How about working with a company that believes “action” means “let’s fund a marketing research study”?

Being prone to act is an indicator of success, if I recall my Steven Covey correctly. He and Mr. Morita are correct.

One who acts gets results, which can be recalibrated, re-aimed, and re-fired with greater precision and with greater effect than can “he who endlessly waits.”