Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

Events

Overcoming the Perfection Trap in Strategic Planning

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Plenty of organisations that have been through our workshops start with an understanding that Strategic Planning is a long arduous process, that Strategic Planning takes up a lot of Organisations resources; and that Strategic Plans are essentially ignored. By the time they've finished our workshop there's no doubt that their view has changed. One huge barrier is this idea of the need to have a 'Perfect Plan'

The rationale that 'lack of planning perfection' could be the cause of inaction is based on the unfounded truism that it is better to do nothing, than to do something poorly. But this 'cause-effect' approach (non perfection = poor outcome) is not how reality works, because reality shows that NO PLAN IS PERFECT.

Where planning processes often fall down is NOT from the starting position of 'imperfection' but from the unfounded belief that once you've got things perfect at the start, you can forget to monitor your progress or the need to build in the capacity to adapt and change. And that IS where planning breaks down. The annual, biennial, or triennial planning programs that ignore the need to pay attention to progress are the barriers to achievement - not 'imperfection'. TASPI's experience shows that most organisations have what they need to get done what they need to do. The TASPI model highlights the core steps that most organisations miss - they're 'plug-in' steps, not 'start again' requirements.

Plans should, nay MUST highlight the core starting assumptions upon which a strategic decision is made. Indicators of likely progress or non progress ought to be considered in advance as clues. But can we please stop aiming for the perfect planning outcome. Assumptions; Adaptation; Attention - these are the things that matter greatly in planning your future. If you want to get it right then a 'Triple A' approach will take you a very long way indeed. Perfection on the hand, will likely get you no where  slowly or by lulling you in to doing nothing, land you at Disaster central quickly.


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