30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Day 20: Plan B

It’s day 20 of our 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Plan B

Ever have one of those days? A Murphy’s Law kinda day? Time for Plan B.

My plan for the day was to facilitate my instructional design workshop, get some dinner, do some work and post for the challenge. Well, not so much – there were twists in the road.

The certification program went off without a hitch. Great people, lots of different backgrounds. However, one of the participants failed to show up with the necessary project to work on. She was just hired into her training role, so basically had nothing to work on, nor had any experiences from which to draw. Being this is a project based program – it called for a creative solution.

Time for Plan B.

Then I got back to my room to plan for tomorrow, and discovered that I had left a major wardrobe component behind – meaning I had to find a store.

More Plan B

The restaurant that was my go to for dinner tonight, especially knowing that I had a full evening in front of me…well, you guessed it – closed for renovations.

Another Plan B

Time to get back to the room to produce a short video for the challenge. My ipad keeps telling that I don’t have enough memory to shoot regardless of what I delete. After 10 takes of my ipad shutting off at different stages and then realizing I didn’t bring a stand in order to shoot video on my iphone…Yep…

Yet another Plan B

It’s about here where I slip, try to catch myself, and jam up the pinky finger on my left hand. Wonder how this is going to work out tomorrow in class? It’s already swollen up to twice it’s sized (making typing tonight an interesting experience). I suppose it will go nicely with the bump I now have on my nose from walking into the door. Yep. I walked into a door. Seriously. 

Sigh…Plan B 

While this may seem extreme and a comedy of errors that makes me feel like I’m a contestant on Candid Camera, it’s an important lesson of having your Plan B in place. When developing curriculum, or planning for delivery – It is key to plan for failure or at the very least a twist in the road. When it comes to content design or developing any learning object one must include a few key items:

  1. Beginning with the end in mind. What will be our measurement of success, without this we cannot move forward – otherwise how will we know our work will make an impact for the organization?
  2. Is the training targeted? Are we targeted key performance and the right people? Are we sure “training” is Plan A? Do we know, “why this, why now”?
  3. Are we planning for failure? By planning for failure, we can relax a little – as we will have our plan B, C, D, E in place. Planning for failure (or that twist in the road) will allow for different perspectives, different points of view, and different techniques to be in place.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. When our designs are allowed to flex, or change, we will be prepared. It is essential our design documents or story boards for our content development reflect a dedicated “Plan B”. Think of all the things that may become barriers. Perhaps failure may be due to the organizational culture or maybe a change in leadership. Perhaps it is a change in priorities. If we don’t plan to fail. We will fail.

This post was my Plan B in action. I had originally planned on this post being focused on time management. However, considering everything that happened to me over the course of 12 hours, I couldn’t let the opportunity slide. So when life takes away your Plan A and gives you lemons; it’s time to put in action your Plan B, add a bit of vodka to your lemons and make yourself a Lemon Drop Martini.

Here’s to Plan B…Cheers!

Share your favorite Plan B story. Let’s laugh together. 


NO! It’s not too late to join! See the original 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge post here

See previous post: Day 19: Just Stuff

Check out the variety of participants and their challenge entries on the Learning Rebels Facebook page here

Click on the gloves to learn more about how Learning Rebels can provide learning solutions to help you achieve your business goals.

Learning Rebels Solutions

Filed under

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

4 thoughts on “30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Day 20: Plan B”

  1. It seems that we both had Murphy’s Law days! Plan B can sometimes be a specific (if A happens then we’ll do B instead) but often Plan B is a state of mind in which solutions emerge from the situation. As you say, an unexpected change in perspective.

    • Hi Emma – I think the big part about Plan B is the mindset. Some people a plan B throws them off their game, others it is just challenge. Know who are you are, and how you react under pressure and plan accordingly.

  2. I’m all about the Plan B! Especially when facilitating 🙂 I think this has always been something I’ve done (had a Plan B), but when I started facilitating virtually, I became the Queen of Plan Bs. I have back up plans for my back up plans in case of technology issues, slide issues, participants not having pre-work completed, lack of engagement, etc…

    By having these Plan Bs in my hip pocket, I’m not rattled when something doesn’t work. I simply pull out a Plan B and move on.

    • Hi Chris – exactly! My “toolbox” is loaded with Plan B solutions. Half the stuff I’ve bought is because something has happened. I totally agree with you regarding the virtual training. Back ups for the back ups. Cindy Huggett has a wonderful checklist on her website that everyone should download. http://cindyhuggett.com/resources/


Leave a Comment

Table of Contents

    Join the Rebellion!


    Cool tools for cool people! 😎

    After we confirm your email, you'll get our
    "Creative Problem-Solving Primer" #WhosYourBuddy

    (By signing up, you agree to receive emails from Learning Rebels, and while it would make us sad, you can opt-out at any time.)

    AWESOME! Welcome to the Rebellion. Now you will begin to receive great stuff from the mother ship. IMPORTANT! Be sure you have the LearningRebels.com address added to your contacts or moved to your primary folder so you don't miss a thing. It would be a tragedy for your Rebellion to end up in your spam folder, never to see the light of day.