I was catching up after a summer of absence with my dear Chum Johnnie Moore on Skype today. Johnnie is off to facilitate a big meeting soon. Naturally, the organizers want it all to be very successful and are insisting on a "Plan".
Here is his wonderfully funny - because it is so close to the bone - clip from Monty Python that shows how we really feel when the boss imposes his plan on us.
Hey - I am very planful too and for ages I too insisted on a 'Plan". But I am starting to understand the difference between having an objective or an intent and a plan. For in many situations, the real issue is that we don't actually know how to "get there". Lewis and Clark knew that they wanted to find a route to the Pacific and back - but could never know how to get there - finding out could only take exploration - the route would "emerge" it could not be "Planned.
Do we not waste huge amounts of energy and angst in planning events and strategies that we can never predict?
Instead of a plan, many of my clients and I talk for an hour every week - it's our discovery hour. We have a sense of our objective - usually pretty fuzzy - like be good at using social media to build a larger and more attached community of support - and I am amazed at how as the weeks go by that the more we just allow the hour to run - really useful stuff emerges.
Last week, the senior guy was away in one of these calls, and we had a kids and Mum talk versus the family and Dad. You know what I mean I hope - a much softer meeting. One of the requests I got was could we have even less structure. This hour was the only time in the whole week when they could just be themselves. The looser we were, the better the stuff that emerged.
So I have a new plan - even less plan!