Approaches to Planning

[see  Approaches to Planning - Workshop Activity]

All organizations plan; the only difference is their approach. Prior to starting a new strategic planning process it will be necessary to access the past planning approach that has been used within the organization and determine how the organization's cultural may have been affected. Addressing these cultural issues is critical to the success of the current planning process.

The four possible approaches to planning are:

  1. Reactive - past oriented
    Reactive planning is an active attempt to turn back the clock to the past. The past, no matter how bad, is preferable to the present. And definitely better than the future will be. The past is romanticized and there is a desire to return to the "good old days." These people seek to undo the change that has created the present, and they fear the future, which they attempt to prevent.
  2. Inactive - present oriented
    Inactive planning is an attempt to preserve the present, which is preferable to both the past and the future. While the present may have problems it is better than the past. The expectation is that things are as good as they are likely to get and the future will only be worse. Any additional change is likely to be for the worse and should therefore be avoided.
  3. Preactive - predict the future
    Preactive planning is an attempt to predict the future and then to plan for that predicted future. Technological change is seen as the driving force bringing about the future, which will be better than the present or the past. The planning process will seek to position the organization to take advantage of the change that is happening around them.
  4. Proactive - create the future
    Proactive planning involves designing a desired future and then inventing ways to create that future state. Not only is the future a preferred state, but the organization can actively control the outcome. Planners actively shape the future, rather than just trying to get ahead of events outside of their control. The predicted changes of the preactive planner are seen not as absolute constraints, but as obstacles that can be addressed and overcome.
[see Workshop Activity - Approaches to Planning]
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Reference: Ackoff, R. (1981) Creating the Corporate Future: Plan or be Planned. John Wiley, New York.

Transformative Networking connecting change leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.
http://groups.google.com/group/transformative-networking

Next Steps While still conceptual, transformative networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of work.  The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.  Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might emerge.  Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing - networking communities of interest.
http://groups.google.com/group/transformative-networking    

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Last modified: July 19, 2009