Being proactive in an unknowable future: The power of small, agile inspired actions

I'm facilitating a ton of strategic planning these days. I continue to meet people who relish the sound of being "strategic" with all of its competitive and military mission connotations. Others use the word as code for planning related to growth without the adversarial and anxious implications. However we frame the exercise, it's fundamentally about being proactive. Industrial Era strategic planning held prediction as the centerpiece to action taking. The practice continues with even more compelling seductiveness brought to us by the purveyors of new scientific data gathering and analysis methodologies. Companies can do deep brainwave studies to predict consumer patterns.

Yet even with big data getting bigger, the future remains largely unknowable. This fact makes us rethink the nature of planning.

In my work, planning is creating small achievements that creates meaningful learning and momentum in the direction of new possibilities we wish to bring into being. Small inspired actions do not require the costs of prediction. In a world where the future is intrinsically unknowable, rather than predict our way into the future, we create it in small, agile inspired actions.