Why Do We Plan?

Why do we plan?  It’s a simple question, with multiple answers, all of them correct.  We plan because we need a roadmap for where we’re headed and what our preferred future state should look like.  We plan because we need goals—concrete outcomes that we want to achieve.  And we plan because it helps us to create focus around what is important.

All those reasons are valid and correct, but when it comes right down to it, the most important reason we plan, is to change behavior.  Without a plan we’re most likely to continue the behaviors we’re currently exhibiting and that won’t get us to a different outcome!  Lack of behavior change is also why the benefit of most planning exercises is not realized.  Organizations put 90% of their effort into creating the plans and 10% or less of their effort towards changing the behaviors that will be necessary to implement the plan.  Remembering “why we plan” can change the way you organize your next planning session.