Traditional and Agile strategic planning contrasts

Traditional approaches to strategic planning emerged in an era very different from the one we currently operate in. It was an era that didn't even imagine the kind of complexity, change and connectivity that is now intrinsic to our present landscape. It was also an era that didn't have the science on organizational dynamics we have today.

The strategic planning approaches then worked from what seemed an entirely logical set of principles.

  • People can and will support what they don't help create
  • People base their passion on the vision of others rather than their own
  • High performance means holding people accountable to the plan
  • People do their best when others are held responsible for them
  • Strategy and structure are more important than culture
  • Organizations grow most In areas of their weaknesses and threats
  • Success is avoidance of risk, failure and blame
  • Prediction is the key to effective planning
  • Some of us can be smarter than all of us
  • Decision makers can make accurate assessments of capacity to achieve strategic priorites
  • Having more questions than answers is a sign of weakness
  • Failing strategies are calls for more resources

When an organization operates from these principles, strategic planning tends to be top-down, based in assumptions and risk averse. Organizations naturally keep using the same traditional model hoping for new results because they have not experienced models designed for the character of the current era. Like people, organizations do the best they can based on what they know at the time.

The Agile Canvas Strategic Doing 365 is a very simple and effective current era model whose principles and practices are based  on current dynamics and research. As it turns out, the principles are precisely the contrast to the old principles. Once organizations experience the new model, we have never seen one go back.