Planning is important to reach your destination while plans are not. To survive in this volatile and disruptive landscape, setting a rigid and inflexible plan won’t help you achieve your vision; simply because the outer world isn’t that orderly and predictable. Given the ever-changing business environment, competition from well-established enterprises, a detailed and ideal business plan will often go astray. A practical solution is planning and improvising throughout your journey. Your agility in keeping a fixed eye on your vision along with having plans of actions in case of surprises that can deviate you from that long-term vision is key. The formula is: be as steady as a rock in terms of your vision but be flexible to change your strategy and direction when circumstances are not in your favor.
Revisiting your original plan casts light on the necessity of planning. Your initial business plan looks impressive and compelling. It laid out how to raise money, recruit the right people, and securing first few customers to get your business moving. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have faith in your original plan. When you launch your product into the market, customers never showed up the way your initial plan predicted, nor did the performance of your team. Even worse, venture capitalists aren’t willing to help you before making sure your business model is viable. How to keep going when your original plan sucks?
The solution is to be clear-minded before being open-minded. Clear your mind of any alternatives other than your vision. How you see yourself in 5-year-time is everything. Next, be open-minded to work out more plans to achieve that vision. You must craft one initial plan, test it, reject it if not viable, refine it, and retest it. Be a creatively destructive strategist. Be ruthless in instantly eliminating the failing plan and substitute another one. Your fittest plan is the surviving one. The female wild salmon lays twenty-five hundred eggs, yet only two of these eggs survive, grow into fish and eventually spawn. The surviving eggs have succeeded because they constantly explore and adapt to the environment. And so should be your planning. One surviving plan will make it up to the past and failing ones.
The importance of planning was nicely depicted in the movie, The Score, featuring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. The Master safe-cracker, Nick Wells, decides to retire gracefully from the organized crime. Still his criminal mentor convinced him of accomplishing one final operation: one that is worth a $4 million payoff to Nick. The job is to steal a scepter – a French National treasure stored in a secure basement of the Montreal Customs House.
Nick’s mentor introduced him to Jack Teller, a pro thief who already works at the Customs House and acts as an intellectually disabled janitor. Jack helps Nick getting acquainted with all the traps inside the building. When Nick finally got the scepter and packs it in a carrying case to depart, Jack double-crossed him with a gun and orders Nick to hand him the carrying case. Nick reluctantly did. Nick then escapes the security guards through the sewer tunnels.
The final scene of the movie carries a stunning surprise. Jack, feeling triumphant over Nick, calls him to gloat but was shocked when he discovered that the carrying case he has, is loaded with a steel and useless scepter. Nick anticipates Jack’s actions and worked on another plan; that is, having one useless scepter in his bag to hand it to jack in case he threatens him.
Related: Watch the final scene of the movie
Planning, as opposed to plans, is paramount in rightly steering your life. It is a process of sticking to one changeless core along with changing directions when needed. The changeless and unwavering vision must be intact while changing decisions and anticipating worst-case scenarios, will yield favorable results.