There is an old Yiddish proverb that says “Man plans and God laughs”. Most—if not all—of us have experienced the truth of this proverb, and faced the failure of our plans. No matter how good you are planning, fluid, changing, and unpredictable business environments will prevent your plans being fully implemented. So the question is whether we should continue planning, knowing that circumstances will render our plans unviable. Shouldn’t we just “go with the flow” and improvise our way into the future?
Maybe it isn’t a question of either/or, but rather a question of both/and. Modern organizations must be able to combine these two paradoxical elements, if they are to prevail in a business environment characterized by rapid and constant change.