Strategic Planning for Safety and Success
The increasing randomness is demoralizing. Preventative and protective planning and offensives feel futile. It doesn’t help that protection and prevention are difficult to evaluate, their measure being the extent of the absence of harm. And regardless, harm does arrive, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
Still we plan. It’s what humans do. Time only moves forward, and we know it. We anticipation, so we plan.
It used to be easier. Generations upon generations of humans were born into the same world as their grandparents and grandchildren. We watched our elders and patterned for our children to plan for winter, plan for droughts. We planned defense and attack against known and relentless tribes from elsewhere.
In a weird, relativity-type of way, time sped up in the 20th Century. Its early years were still dominated by horse and buggy, but, by its middle ages, right inside boxes in our living rooms, a man walked on the moon. By the opening decades of the 21st, that tale was quaint. Within single generations we plan for contingencies un-witnessed, untold, un-forecast and only partially imaginable.
How do you plan when today’s information can be undone within years? Think of cell phones and YouTube and the Arab Spring.
Knowledge, of course, is always necessary to plan. But given accelerating generations of knowledge and the universe’s natural bent toward chaos technical knowledge alone cannot reach as far as we need to see.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Albert Einstein said, “For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
The implications of strategic planning failure are huge in today’s world. They surely feel huge in the suburbs of Denver. Indeed, they feel and are huge everywhere. We need to be able to see around corners, anticipate the future. So here’s the good news about knowledge of all kinds, it is done by association. The more you know the more you are able to learn.
We can learn to learn better merely by learning. We can learn to plan better by planning.
There is a challenge and urgency for successful strategic planning throughout the world, in Washington D.C., surrounding Pax River; so we thought we’d start right here, Lexington Park.
In the next months we’re going to ask members and readers for contributions. Asking businesses, contractors, health organizations, schools, utilities, churches, organizations and individuals, “What is your strategic plan?”
Jolie Bain Pillsbury, president of Sherbrooke Consulting out of Alexandria, Virginia encapsulated some of the broadly utilized steps in successful strategic planning into five questions which she cautions are to be followed in sequence.
What is our purpose?
Where are we now?
Where do we want to be in the future?
What do we need to do and how will we do it to get to the future we want?
How do we turn planning into action and results?
With her permission we’ll use these steps and her basic primer as our guide. We look forward to hearing from you, be it your planning goals or your goals for Lexington Park. And some of you will be hearing soon from us too.