In general I believe that planning is essential. The only real alternative to planning is not responsiveness and flexibility but chaos. The people who plan are much better at improvising than the people who don’t. But can one plan in such times as these?
Whatever kind of organisation we lead we face an unusually high degree of uncertainty right now. No-one knows if the curve of the economic recovery will be fast and steep or slow and relatively flat. There might be a second wave of coronavirus that is worse than the first or we might keep it under control and come up with a vaccine relatively quickly. We might reach a new deal with the EU post-Brexit that minimises cost and disruption but the opposite seems as or more likely. The vast majority of people and organisations face an uncertain economic future in which unnecessary spending is not at all attractive. All this leaves confidence low.
Many organisations are not yet able to operate in anything like the “normal” way and still have many working remotely, from home, in temporary arrangements. It is not clear when it will be possible to return to “normality” or whether there will ever be such a return. Do we really need the large, expensive offices we had become used to thinking essential? Has the crisis demonstrated their dispensability? I suspect the jury is out on this one for most as well.
Can we plan in an environment like this?Continue reading