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The Risks of Planning

If you intend to plan, then conditions in organisations must be prepared in such a way that they are fit for planning. In particular, this implies measurability. What cannot be measured, cannot reasonably be used in the planning as a starting point or as a milestone. To build the internal organisational world upon figures carries considerable risk, because the effectiveness of that which lies beyond formal data, beyond the official input and beyond that, which is calculable, does not flow into the plan.

Planning is primarily a phenomenon inside the organisation. It is occupied with itself. Such forms of self-occupation have no finality in themselves, they can get out of hand, are expandable at will for as long as the organisation maintains the means for this. The often lamented ‘proliferation’ of control processes and departments is a good example of this.

Eventually the plan will not include itself in the planning. Planning, as a current user of resources is, in a way, often seen as given and unavoidable. This, too, can be dangerous, because it consumes time. Whilst some still plan, others have attracted the attention of all markets with an incomplete prototype.

It is particularly difficult to discard plans which have been planned for. Planning structures have a resistance, which often immunises them against changes. This can be perceived as a danger, because it is difficult to take up the risk position again, to be able to make decisions once more, and give up established plans.