We used to do detailed mission planning. SF teams are isolated away from outside distractions for days in order to devise the detailed plans for their missions. In most cases, things were different when you hit the ground. The intelligence wasn’t quite correct, the map was wrong or the pilot dropped you off in the wrong location.
There wasn’t any time for pointing fingers.
You had to move forward and get it done. I learned the EPIC solution.
Evaluate the Situation
Consider the Results
You might be asking yourself “How can this help me in my life?”
EPIC can and should be applied for any case where you need to think on your feet. Let’s take a case where you might be asked to speak to a group of people. You plan your presentation using a PowerPoint presentation. When you show up, there is not a screen or a projector for the presentation. EPIC should kick in.
Evaluate the situation. What is available? Is there a whiteboard? Is there a flipchart? Can I get copies made and handed out?
Plan accordingly. Once you have the facts of what is and what isn’t, come up with a quick revised plan. Don’t waste time complaining or arguing about what should be.
Initiate action. Do what you came for, give the presentation. Keep your main purpose in mind. It may not look what you thought it would, but does it meet the objectives. In this case, you wanted to get your message out. Present using a flipchart, highlighting the main points of your presentation.
Finally as you take action gauge the results of the new plan. Is it meeting the ultimate objective? Is your audience showing interest in your presentation? Are they responding in positive body language. If you are not getting the results you want, drop back into EPIC and make the necessary changes.
EPIC is a great system to keep in mind as you go through your daily life, both business and personal. Remember the best laid plans are only that, plans. Everything changes. We had a motto in Special Forces just for this – Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
Just Get ER Done
Photo – Flicker:Zach Dischner