The New Strategic Plan: None

Philip Laloux, author of Reinventing Organizations, recently gave a talk that was summarized by consultant Kelly McGowan in a blog post.

As a biomimic, what I found most interesting was that inspiration from complex natural systems suggests that we stop trying to control the future by making plans, and instead be nimble and flow with events as they emerge. It may sound radical but let’s look at the strategy of having no strategic plan.

Typically, strategic planning includes setting goals, and allocating resources to help achieve them. Goal-setting is an important part of behavioral science, as we at Alchemus Prime know. But, what if you don’t know what’s coming?

Laloux suggests we ditch the strategic plan, and instead embrace principles from nature to help us navigate rapid change. He lays out the following principles:

“1. Self-Management ~ emphasizing peer relationships that foster trust in individual decision making vs. hierarchy or consensus

2. Wholeness ~ inviting people to show up as their whole self vs. professional contributions only

3. Evolutionary Purpose ~ listening to what wants to emerge vs. trying to control the future (for instance, with a plan)

Let’s assess them. Self-management is desirable as an alternative to micro-management; the latter aims to control, while the former depends on trust and freedom, and allows decentralized and swift decision-making to keep the organization nimble.

Wholeness is a concept that resonates strongly with Alchemus Prime – it is why and how the company was created – through a cognitive and spiritual process in nature. When we bring our whole selves to a task or organization, we need not compartmentalize our talents and personality, and, feeling more ourselves, we contribute better.

Evolutionary Purpose takes us back to the gift of relinquishing control and embracing adaptation to what unfolds. This in itself is a strategy – to be attentive and humble, and to respond to conditions in the moment, as they occur.

These principles point to the future of problem-solving in diverse settings: leadership through biomimicry, integration of the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional faculties, and adaptive creativity.

These species are growing on a location they may not have strategically planned on. Not having a plan allows us to respond and adapt to changing conditions, focusing on creative opportunities, not controlling the future, which isn't possible anyway.

These species are growing on a location they may not have strategically planned on. Not having a plan allows us to respond and adapt to changing conditions, focusing on emerging opportunities, not controlling the future, which isn’t possible anyway.

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