The plan-as-you-go business plan is better than the standard old-fashioned formal business plan for several good reasons.
- Everybody in business deserves business planning to help her manage. That doesn’t mean, however, that everybody ought to have a formal plan document written out.
- Things change fast. Planning needs to be quick and flexible and sensitive to changing assumptions. It’s like steering, or navigation: eyes up on the horizon, looking at long-term directions, while also managing concrete specifics.
- The plan is useless, but planning is essential. As I wrote this we’re eight years into the 21st century now, four years into Web 2.0 and social media, 30 years into personal computing; it was time to change our views on business planning.
Start with that simple paradox: the plan is useless, but planning is essential. That’s a quote from former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who had reason to know a lot about planning. He led the Allied forces to victory in Europe during the Second World War.
|Military Quotes on Planning
|The military relates very well to planning. In business we talk about battle plans, and war plans, as well as business plans. One of the most recommended books for business is Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. I use Eisenhower’s quote “the plan is useless, but planning is essential” frequently in writing, speaking, and teaching about planning. He makes a critical point.There’s also the famous line: “no battle plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy,” often attributed to Colin Powell, but also to Field Marshal Helmuth Carl Bernard von Moltke.|