Monday, 26 September 2011

Why planning doesn't matter any more...

Do you like to plan things? I'm not restricting this to plotting before writing; I'm thinking in a wider, life-skill way.

Recent trends in business, industry and politics seem to me to have announced the death-knell of meticulous planning. Governments do whatever tabloid surveys suggest would be popular without working out consequences. Companies plough on with changes to structure and organization without thinking about the effect on quality of provision or the problems such changes will cause.

Oh, of course. Sorry. We don't have problems any more; we have challenges.

I can see several advantages to not having rigid plans for the future.
  • It's impossible to anticipate every eventuality. Your lovely plan may have to be changed or even scrapped very early on
  • Trying to cater for everything that could go wrong will ultimately lead to paralysis
  • Adaptability and flexibility are vital qualities everyone should possess
That doesn't mean you don't plan at all. You make your plans broad in scope, sketchy in detail. They will guide you along the right lines, satisfy the major thrust of your activity, help you stay on track.

While it's true, in military terms, that no plan survives first contact with the enemy, the armed forces still have plans to get them going in the first place. How to get in, what you do when you're there and how to get out; these are vital elements of every military plan. If they continue to plan, even though they know full well the plan is doomed to fail - shouldn't we do likewise?

Otherwise, we would live our lives like some demented character from a self-help book: 'Ready, fire, aim...'


  1. 'Ready, fire, aim...' as the actress said to the bishop

  2. 'I'm sorry, I'm going to have to let you go. You've had too many shortcomings,' as the actress also said...