Strategic Planning is Insufficient


Here’s why strategic planning doesn’t work,

or is uninspiring,

or is simply a “wish list” that never comes true…

It’s irrelevant.

Strategic planning is based on the past –

what you’ve always done,

who your clients have always been,

what’s brought you to today.

Except, today is fundamentally different than “yesterday” was.

And tomorrow’s going to be even more wacky.

So, it makes NO SENSE to call a plan “strategic” when it’s based on

  • Detroit
  • Bricks and mortar higher education
  • Full employment

Strategic planning starts in the past – what you’ve always done –

and sets goals to do all of that incrementally better faster cheaper in the next 2, 3, or 5 years.

What’s needed now, more than ever before, is strategic foresight.

Strategic foresight takes a cold, hard look at the trends in technology, society, the economy, the environment and politics and asks, “What is our future likely to look like ten (or twenty) years from now?”

It imagines several, possible futures and then asks, “Are we ready for any of these?”

Americans are terrible at strategic foresight.

As proof: I bet all of you took at least one history course in your educational career.

But no one takes a futuring class.

Which is a shame, because none of you are going to live in the past.

We’re all going to live in the future.

So why should we base our “plans” on the past?

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