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Central Planning

The most visibly confirming event that showcased the fact that “central planning” doesn’t work was the demise of the former Soviet Union. The 5 year plans foisted down on the populace by the politburo big-wigs stifled creativity, innovation, and motivation. In spite of the impeccable planning by those “who knew better“, the country imploded.

Likewise, in corpocracies that are incapable of learning from the past (no matter how compelling the evidence), the same fate awaits. By the time the perfectly infallible strategies and plans from the corpo  junta get approved, poured in concrete, and trickled down to the DICforce at rock bottom, they’re mostly useless and obsolete.

So, what’s a better way? How about generating flexible, multi-year rolling plans that are revisited often? Ricardo Semler uses that method at Semco. How about exposing the plans to the DICforce as they are being developed in real-time so that some insights from a larger pool of brains may be elicited? Got any other ideas?

  1. fishead
    February 16, 2010 at 8:10 am

    How about instead of dribble down planning from the top, some form of bubble up planning from the DICforce? Let the teams in the trenches identify the issues that need addressing, and allow them to propose solutions that are passed up the chain. Then the Ruling Junta can compare issues and plans, and align those that have synergy into a cohesive roll-out that can then be acted upon by the entire organization.

    Henry Ford tried that once…

  2. Ray
    February 16, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    As a country we didn’t buy into the central planning culture until WW2. In order to wage total war the economy had to central plan. Production of tanks, planes and bullets had to organized on a country level.

    What is interesting is having businesses push individual initiative but have central planning. It is hard to balance the two.

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