Life is Paradoxical.
You can plan your life. And yet you can’t.
Business planning is not much different. In fact, the entire process is like life, paradoxical. Simple, yet complex and requiring us to look without and within.
When you engage in the planning process, you are embracing the control you have over the uncontrollable, and you are accepting that the uncontrollable will always be present. And a Clear vision and intention allows for co-creation with the Universe to manifest your vision.
Part of the contradiction of life is that we are not in charge of very much, yet the universal law of attraction says we can determine or influence everything about our lives. As human beings, we have freedom of choice. Such freedom gives us the opportunity to influence the things that happen in our lives and organizations.
It is this paradox that supports and confuses us simultaneously. But if we explore and examine these seeming contradictions, we can hold both of these conflicting realities. They are not mutually opposed.
Thus, we have the ability to create our reality. But, complex powers and systems exist that influence what happens in the world.
I support strategic planning that is participatory, intentional and action-oriented with clear strategic directions and short term implementation e.g. 90 days. The pace of change in the world and the complexity of the issues and challenges facing leaders and organizations have sent me back to my Technology of Participation (ToP) strategic planning roots.
Most processes claiming to be strategic are really operational plans asking for incremental change and the vision is no grounded in what is really important to the people who are charged with implementing it. Gestalt OSD teaches us, we move towards the pictures we create.
The desired future that is co-created by the people in the organization is a way to take the various individual and group pictures and put them together into one picture that all can join without having the sell it to the rank and file of the organization.
When the vision is truly compelling, everyone starts to move.
I have witnessed this in small groups who begin to self-organize on a project to departments in large organizations to entire communities that began to execute their strategy even before we could type up the meeting notes from the planning session.
I love creating strategic plans that take into consideration the need to update and shift their actions based on the shifts and changes in their environments.
I want these plans implemented, getting results, worn, tattered and well-used. This says so much about the value of planning. It gets everyone rowing in the proverbial same direction. And the more participation, the more everyone understands what needs to happen and why and their role in making that happen.
The leader’s role becomes one of tracking, reminding, and scanning the internal and external environment to spot changes that would signal the need shift directions.
The other piece of the paradox is that human dynamic factor of organizations. There is always the pull and tug dynamic of the energy for change and the energy for sameness. Strategic plans and leadership must pay attention to this energy knowing that whatever side the group lands on, the organization will ultimately self-correct if awareness is raised on all levels of systems about the impact of their actions.
The act of this kind of awareness raising will automatically shift the systems to move towards what supports the vision, both on very small individual behavior levels and as an organization as a whole. This is the accountability part of planning.
Holding people to what they said they will do and supporting any shifts or changes necessary in the system to get everyone contributing their best to the vision.
MKM supports organizations through this process via their strategic planning packages that include retreat style planning sessions and leadership support coaching to prepare the organization for change and implementation of your plan.