For many people right now, planning for the future is becoming more and more important. Some are building long range plans and even discussing what they, as an organization, want to look like during the coming decade. Others are struggling because there are simply too many unknown variables for making a series of sound decisions about the future. For them, disjointed incrementalism, i.e. knowing where you want to go but not being sure how to get there, is the new normal.
When surviving a trough of chaos in the midst of a sideways cyclone, building a plan is important. For those suffering from disjointed incrementalism, I have suggested building a bridge plan, namely a short term, 12 - 18 months in length, plan. In situations where there is a high degree of chaos, the goal of a bridge plan is to create the right conditions for more in-depth planning. For example, this may mean cleaning up specific internal problems that might be causing problems related to achieving operational excellence.
Meanwhile, the larger external picture with all of it’s different and unknown variables can sort itself out and become clear while you as the leader and your team execute the the bridge plan and prepare the internal organization. Once the internal is rebalanced and the external has become less foggy, then all involved can start planning and making better decisions related to the future.
This week, consider building a bridge plan when dealing with an unstable future.