Forget the plan but remember the planning

“The plan goes out of the window at the first contact with the enemy” is a common statement, obviously originating within the military. Boxing has a similar one following the first punch to the face.

Many of us have spent quite a bit of time lately coming up with numerous scenarios of how the pandemic might affect our businesses. From worst case through to plotting new opportunities, there are a myriad of plans now in circulation.

Obviously not every scenario will happen, and those that do may be quite different to what we assumed.

Where we’ve put numbers to those plans (sales forecasts, budgets, resourcing), or made other huge assumptions for the post lock down world – we know that the chance of variances is even greater.

Are the plans that don’t eventuate wasted effort? Absolutely not – planning is more than the final plan. It gives us a chance to evaluate many different scenarios, to assess how they will affect us and if they do come to pass, how we can react. Even if we are well off beam with all of our plans, the fact that we have spent time thinking about issues means that we will be better placed to react to whatever happens.

Even just talking through possibilities with our teams place us in a better position to react.

Reverting back to the military, I think Eisenhower summed it up best “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”

Planning 

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