WE’D LIKE TO THINK that planning takes away all the risk. But as soon as I say that, you know it’s not true.

The world is changing. People are unpredictable. And … stuff happens.

So, while planning is useful and necessary, it doesn’t remove all the risk. So why bother?

Because it gives you confidence and aligns people.

Is it false confidence? Sure, a little bit, but the fact is that when you think things through, look at alternatives, and create your strategy … you can avoid a significant amount of wasted energy. You’re acting more than you’re worrying.

And that whole business about “looking at alternatives” gives you a bit of resilience when unexpected things happen. Because they will.

As a leader, your people look to you for direction and consistency. Not so much because they need you to take away all worry, but that they can have a framework for making their own decisions.

Think about taxes and regulations imposed by the government. What causes angst isn’t so much that there ARE these constraints. It’s when they change.

Why is the change disruptive? Because it means you have to go back and look at ALL your assumptions, incorporate them into your plans, and then adjust your actions. It’s a good thing that our government is designed to be slow.

That’s analogous to the role you play with your team. Your leadership, even in the face of murkiness, creates a framework of predictability so they can move forward.

Then when things change, we adjust. It might be annoying, but then we move on.