There’s a word I’ve noticed being used at increasing rates in recent months, especially in the startup community: “nimble.”

According to, nimble means, “quick and light in movement; moving with ease; agile; active; rapid.”

Our society is advancing at record speeds. An app you dream up in your bedroom can be replicated and improved upon in a week by someone halfway across the world. Speed is arguably more important today than ever before in history.

In the marketing world, opportunity for instant campaigns is now possible, thanks to social media. Oreo got some much-deserved attention a couple of years ago when they came up with a meme to poke fun at the power outage during the Super Bowl. In mere minutes, they had devised the idea, approved it, designed it, and posted it. Incredible. I’m sure there were a thousand reasons not to act so quickly: getting permission from the powers that be, clearing it will legal, giving designers enough time, and so on. But they put all excuses aside and uttered three words: change of plans.


There’s a phrase that I think we, as entrepreneurs, often resist but should reconsider: “change of plans.” Focus is an admirable trait, and it’s what often separates successful people from people with good ideas. (In fact, I wrote about it earlier this year.)

But sometimes we need to exchange focus for humility. Is your idea not catching on? Perhaps longer hours aren’t the answer; perhaps you need a change of plans.

Sometimes we need to exchange focus for creativity. Did a social movement just catch on that could have major affects on your business? Change of plans.

Did the lights just go out during the Super Bowl? Perhaps your cookie company can come up with a clever campaign right now, not over the course of a year as usual. Change of plans.

If you’ve found yourself banging your head against a wall…

If you’ve struck gold with a new idea that scraps your former roadmap…

Consider these words: change of plans.