Download the script of this podcast
An old military adage says that a battle plan becomes obsolete within five minutes of contact with the enemy. In battle, nothing ever seems to go exactly as planned.
Dwight Eisenhower fully understood this. As the commander of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, he was responsible for the single largest human undertaking ever staged in a compact period of time. The invasion involved over 156,000 troops, over 3200 aircraft, and almost 7000 ships and landing vessels. What an immense planning challenge!
Yet Eisenhower would later say that in preparation for battle, plans are useless. But planning, he added, is indispensable. What he knew is this. The lessons learned while planning are far more valuable than the plan itself. Long after the plan has become obsolete, the lessons learned retain their relevance.
In this episode we look at planning through Eisenhower's lens. We identify three golden opportunities which leaders seize when they enlist broad participation in the planning process. And we pay special attention to the way in which we should develop long-range and strategic plans.