One Day at a Time… as Opposed to Planning!

Business Consulting ~ Business Management G. Karadimas
Why Good Decisions Fail Implementation and what to Do about it?
September 7, 2019
Σύμβουλος επιχειρήσεων Γ. Καραδήμας
What is Digital Transformation all about and what to Do about it?
September 29, 2019

All plans will eventually fail... No matter how carefully one plans, no matter how detailed his or her plans are, no matter the quantity and the quality of the information that he or she has used in order to build them, his or her plans will eventually fail. And they will fail because there is no way that anybody, no matter how clever, no matter how creative he or she is, he or she can ever take into consideration all the possible contingencies. They will simply fail because of change! And if this is the case, a plausible question that would normally arise is why one should plan at all… There is however a good reason for this!

If one does not know where one wants to go, all possible routes would lead him or her there… In the planning process one has to figure out a starting and an ending point. One has to therefore deeply know where one stands and where one wants to go. And this is not a simple task at all simply because knowing where one stands is equivalent to deeply knowing who one is. This is however one of the most critical questions to be answered. Knowing where one wants to go is a whole different story. One has to know why he or she wants to go there, which is equivalent to who one wants to become! One would then need to figure out what would need to be done in order the destination to be reached, what resources would be required, how they would need to be deployed as well as whose cooperation would be required and finally when would it be the right moment to make the attempt. It is therefore the planning process that serves the task of answering the why, the what, the how, the who and the when questions, all of which are critical for the success of any plan. Clearly therefore, plans are useless! For they will certainly fail. Planning however is indispensable. And this is so because it is the planning process that arms the planner with all the required tools that would help him or her during implementation. It is the planning process that would help the planner to deal with change, or even better to drive change! There is however a problem…

When the rate of change is fast, plans may become irrelevant very quickly. Under such circumstances therefore it may become impossible to plan. High rates of change necessarily shorten planning horizons anyway. In times of crises for example, planning can be considered and in fact it may even be a luxury. In such circumstances, when everything is in flux, long-term strategies may even turn out to be fatal. One needs to speed up and act instead of slow down and think. Long-term planning therefore presents an unnecessary waste of resources when all the available resources are needed to ensure survival. One would therefore need to shoot first and aim later. One would need to make sure that one would make the day and to sharpen his or her reflexes for the next one. One day at a time! Still however even under such circumstances, one would need to keep in mind who one is and who one needs to become. Otherwise, sooner or later there would be no further way to go…