Planning is Better Together

Planning is Better Together

Planning. To some a four letter word. To others, an activity that never happens in their organization. In this episode, Dave and Justin discuss what planning has been, is today, and should be tomorrow using the metaphor of the body. Here are the notes from the show:

  • Strategy and planning are two different things, though they are often coupled
  • Planning identifies initiatives that are affordable within an organization’s current capabilities (see Roger Martin’s HBR article “The Big Lie of Strategic Planning”)
  • Our world is VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) and getting more so everyday. Because of this environment, planning can no longer be a rigid and merely financial exercise. Tomorrow is less and less likely to be like today.
  • The body is the ideal metaphor for planning within a context of great change because of its adaptable nature and advanced “sensory” system.
  • Discovery Driven Growth by MacMilan and McGrath provides a good framework for planning within a rapidly changing environment – their “Opportunity Map” is a great frame to understand the risk you’re taking on (we’ll continue with this in our next podcast on the topic of Strategy).
  • The Greeks had two words for “time” – Chronos (literal advancement of time – plans, dates, timelines) and Kairos (“fullness of time” or “at the right time”)
  • We see 5 key steps to becoming a more “agile planner”
    • Begin with purpose
    • Leverage the “sensory” system of organization – all groups and stakeholders
    • Create forums, platforms, and technology for knowledge share
    • Create “learning agendas” and view strategic planning as a series of hypotheses and experiments to test the validity
    • Encourage risks and failure
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test shows that there are two orientations people have toward the world that line up with the Greek’s word for “time”. Chronos folks like to plan and reduce stress by planning ahead. Kairos folks like to have the world unfold in front of them to keep options open. The point is that we’re better together and both types of people are needed for effective planning.
  • Questions to ask yourself:
    • Is your organization’s approach to planning merely operational and/or financial?
    • Do you orient yourself to the world via chronos or kairos?
    • How can the image of the body help you and your team plan more effectively going forward?

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