“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower
Now why would General Eisenhower, the man who led the planning for one of the largest invasions in history, make the statement that the plan is useless?
Well, for one thing, we are not all-knowing – we can’t see into the future – we don’t know exactly how people will react – we can’t predict natural disasters. We are not God, but frail and limited human beings.
However, planning is important – it is a time of reaching greater clarity about our mission, about who we are, about what is truly important to us as an organization. And as we reach greater clarity, then we are much better prepared to nimbly respond to the unexpected challenges and opportunities that will occur.
Planning is not an event – it is an ongoing, dynamic, organic process.
Also, remember that in planning the process is more important than the product.