“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I agree with Dwight. I am always surprised when people question the value of planning. Some ask what’s the point in times of so much uncertainty. Others who work in government have become cynical about the political forces that trump planned priorities. A few believe they have a monopoly and therefore have no need to plan. Others have invested time in planning, only to have plans sit on the shelf providing no value.
In my experience, I have seen the following benefits of planning:
- Helps an organization be proactive, rather than reactive
- Helps build cross-organizational support and commitment around how to use limited resources (people, money and time)
- Helps align activities of everyone in the organization so that energy is not wasted or at cross purposes
- Helps everyone understand and balance short and long term demands of the business
- Helps build and share knowledge among employees
- Helps reduce uncertainty and confusion
The process of planning can build a sense of hope, pride, excitement and control. It is a rare opportunity for people to raise their heads above the day-to-day challenges and see the forest for the trees. Planning refuels the head and heart, reconnecting people to their purpose, clients and each other.
So, invest in planning and reap the benefits.