The more times I have been through the annual planning cycle, the bigger fan I become of emergent rather than deliberate strategy setting. I guess some may say that I’m lazy, but I really think it is just too hard for anyone to gather enough information on what is really going on in today’s complex environment to make a reasonable guess on what’s going to happen next. For me, spending a few days picking a direction and then understanding that you will have to make continuous shifts as long the way makes more sense. Actually, stopping the idea of a once a year direction setting and moving to a model of simultaneous planning, executing and measuring seems to be really the way to go.
In the end I suspect that the people that want us to plan know all of this, and we are just putting on the show for political reasons. If successful, this event will let everyone leave with the feeling that their voice was heard so that when we decide what we really want to do, they will think it was built on their input.