Without operational plans our operational teams and we as managers work in a continuous fire-fighting mode. Reactively we cope with one obstacle after the other, continuously multi-tasking. This is the least efficient and effective mode of leadership.
Right operational plans (our surfboards) have a few features in common: they address constraints, are organized as causal trees and are represented on one single page.
Again a bold statement: top-down planning does not result in the best plans for all units of a company. Instead, we must set goals top-down, and design operational plans bottom-up.