Plan Not to Plan

Plan Not to Plan

This is a real story that I witnessed. A PhD in economics invested in options. He did a huge amount of analysis and then decided to buy certain European options. He invested his lifetime investment in one option. Instead of issuing a buy order, mistakenly he issued a sell order. He couldn’t cancel the order and he was destroyed because he made the wrong order. Two months later this mistake proved to be his fortune as he made huge profit that made him a very rich man. Had he not made the β€œwrong” order he would have gone bankrupt.

This is a lesson of complexity for we can’t read the outcome no matter how smart we might be. The unintended consequences may just be overwhelming. Sometimes, I find whispering to myself β€œplan not to plan”.

Small acts may have butterfly effects. Small workers may lead a business to towering success or to bankruptcy. A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil causing a tornado in the USA or other countries. A mosquito injuring the eye of a lion. A flying bird bringing a plane on flight down. A small leak in the foundation of a tower corroding steel and eventually bringing the tower down. A rich man buying a medicine that a poor man can’t afford to only to find later that the drug has considerable harmful side effects. The poor man then realizes how he was lucky not to being able to buy the drug.

A great example is that Edward Lewellen Presented in his comment on my previous buzz. Part of his comment reads β€œI've observed this in relationships, as well. People usually have contrasting personality traits. One person sees the "Big Picture" while another is "down in the weeds", the details. To the "Big Picture" person, the detailed person can be like a "bug" or "pest". They question too much. For every reason the "Big Picture" person has for moving forward with a project, the detailed person has three reasons not to move forward. Since leaders in organizations are usually "Big Picture" type of people, as a leader, they have the power to have the "pest" removed. This can prove detrimental because the detailed person, though irritating, brought checks-and-balances to the group. They keep a team or department from being too optimistic and make sure there is substance behind a project or process. The long-term consequences of removing the "pest" can be devastating”. I responded to him by writing β€œI smiled upon reading your wealthy comment for I am drafting a buzz on unintended consequences (inspired by a comment byΒ @Harvey Lloyd). One example includes the unintended consequences that deprived us of bee colonies that help us produce food, without which we could starve. But I enjoyed thoroughly your perspective that some leaders remove the "pest" workers without realizing the consequences of their act. This is an important lesson for leaders worldwide and is often overlooked. You ably explained why. They keep the balance and prevent the organization going to the extreme chaotic end”.

I think that we shall observe soon the emergence of new philosophy that is based on complexity science. Do we need to plan? What do we mean by saying small when this small might have a drastic effect on our lives? What is the definition of important because what is important today might not be important tomorrow and vice versa? Our definitions, attitudes, behaviors, evaluations and so many other aspects of our lives may need new approaches and philosophy to deal with.

Do you agree?


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#31
Dear David Navarro L\u00f3pez. I don't want to jump on the wagon and comment before you. I am eager to read your response.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

2 years ago #22

#28
Thank you for calling my attention to the issue. There is an activity I used to do a lot in the past, and it is very likely to how I conduct my life: that is trekking on mountains. Normally, first, you find out to where you are by looking at the surroundings, to identify peaks, valleys on the map and with a compass. Once you know, you set the path you want to follow, and make a marking on another geographical milestone (peak, river, valley, whatever) As an example, maybe your conclusion is you have to walk between two peaks, until the end of the valley. Then, you put your compass and your map on your backpack, and keep walking until you have reached this milestone. In the meantime, you can allow yourself "not to plan" your path, because you can always improvise according to the stones you are finding on your way, but you don't lose your orientation. Then, you stop again and repeat. Same happens with life. You set a path, a plan or a direction, and set as well a point on which you need to stop and verify if you are in the right direction, to redirect your path if needed. A very healthy habit I have for the month of November, which is very likely to what I just described, is that I look back and evaluate what I did the past year, and set some goals for next year. If I did not reach what I wanted, then maybe I keep the same goal, but with another strategy. Or maybe I give up and set a new goal. This way, somehow you are leading your own life. Otherwise, you are open to allow anyone to do it for you. , this is my way of planning not to plan. To have a direction, but allowing myself to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
Your comment expresses my intentions of writing this buzz dear . I couldn't express it better. Thank you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#27
Not all plans are the same Clau Valerio. First, I am happy to see that you are commenting again. I don't dispute with your comment. What I am against is having a rigid plan that makes us inflexible to changes and variations for the expected results. We rush to give low performance evaluation to workers who don't achieve the plan. Some corporations realizing this fact have started to give an excellent evaluation for employees who achieve 70% pf the plan. I am still not in full accordance with this less-stiff approach because we know that a small variation may lead to totally different lessons. The recipe is plan, but also try by experimenting to learn something new before deciding the next step. I highlight the names of for you mentioned them in your comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
Your life experience is quite telling and is very impressive my dear friend Clau Valerio

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#21
Thank you dear Clau Valerio. You are a wise lady "We are the result of our previous aggregate elections:. This is true and makes me wonder if you have ever studied philosophy. You really have a unique way of seeing life and understanding it. Different choices and actions take us on different paths that in time may change completely the course of our lives. I was reading recently a story post on how small events in history later affected the whole globe. Our world is connected and one small changes may have big effects.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
You reminded me of our previous discussions dear David Navarro L\u00f3pez. I shall revisit them. I totally agree with your comment. Our confirmation bias leads us to limit our choices as we tend to favor those choices that are consistent with our beliefs and knowledge. Planning for the very short term may help, but not not for long times or medium-term ones. I liked the way you framed your comment and in particular highlighting the four things that shape our lives and the way you explained them.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

David Navarro LΓ³pez

2 years ago #16

To your always challenging questions, I would say: Do we need to plan? Yes. There is no logical explanation about it. It is simply that we need to plan to keep us thinking we are in control of our life. But we are not. Out of the 4 things which compose life, Circumstances, options, choices and results, we can only have control about our choices. And even those are limited because we can only choose from the options which are in front of our eyes, with a very narrow and limited vision. Due to the same reason, small and important have a relative dimension. Even if we could have the big picture at sight, our mind is too limited to understand all the implications and the possible results of an action or decision. We had some conversations about this in the past, I am sure you remember: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@david-navarro-lopez/do-we-take-paths-or-do-paths-happen-to-be-due-to-us

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
Your comments are big motivation for me dear friend Daniel Alejandro Mart\u00ednez Rodr\u00edguez. Much obliged to you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
Hopefully, they shall not be impossible dreams

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#15
The Noble prize Laureate the late Egyprian writer Nagib Mahfouz wrote a book in Arabic about planning so that destiny ridicules us. Can we predict weather? Can we predict human behavior precisely? Can we predict the future prices of stocks and commodities? I recall that coffee prices escalated few years back because of a rare incident of freezing weather in Brazil. I can go on with my list to give examples of failing predictions. We may make sound guesses, but can ever be certain?

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
Thank you my friend Preston \ud83d\udc1d Vander Ven and I appreciate our differences. In the cynefin framework we know that we approach simple differently from complicated systems. As we move to complex systems and chaotic systems the deviation from careful planning becomes stronger. In your challenging comment you wrote "I feel that "Staying Small" is focusing on your goal that has been broken down into parts". I agree in part, but then we know the the sum of the parts don't match the complex systems because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. But then you wrote, "Staying Small" and to this I agree because small changes may produce great differences. The only way to work in such cases is by trial and error and learning to improve the next step. I beg that you accept our differences. I noticed that you published a buzz on goal-setting and I shall read it in few hours as I have to leave for few hours in few minutes.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

2 years ago #11

Plan not to plan is like being decisive away from dreaming.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Surprises have their taste of their own my friend Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador. Thank you for your appreciation.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

We can plan all we want and then comes the zinger we didn't plan for. That's what makes life interesting. Best we realize that not everything in life will go as planned and oft-times, there is a worthy reason. Enlightening read, Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #8

butterflies have numerous colors on their wings! it our human spectrum which gives immense delights to us. microscopic or telescopic eyes too exist within us and eventually help to determine us how we may react to what degree in our visual affairs. but, i guess unless the colors and its intensities may impacted on us, do we at all have the ability to react accordingly? i wonder whether they are uniquely drawn to their wings by nature just to eulogize or to camouflage us. nature within us too makes intriguing roles! the mystic essence of nature sometimes acts like boon and sometimes as bane. it is truly difficult to gauge how the available circumstances will produce what results, whether in an organization or an individual. intriguing buzz indeed sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! enjoyed read and shared thank you for the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Sometimes fractal patterns help in planning. Even to guess who is the writer such as you dear Jerry as you tend to end mostly your comments with the phrase "And so it goes". I don't question this. However; as you rightly highlighted, we must not forget that small changes in complex systems might send us into different trajectories and hence outcomes. The risk here is that if planning becomes rigid it forms what I coin as "planning rigidity trap" turning the planner blind to deviations and describing them as noise. Many times these noise turn very high can be deafening.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #6

Dr. Ali, Though we can plan, we cannot plan for all eventualities. I've learned (the hard way) that we need to plan for the plan going awry as soon as it is implemented. the individual or organization must learn to go with the flow. The great generals of all time have been aware of this. NASA learned how to cope and that it would become necessary on missions that the earth watched in awe. Yes, Plan. Plan for what you will do when, not if, your plan is carried away on the winds of change. It is a hard lesson, but essential. And so it goes.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
Great comment my friend Roberto De la Cruz Utria. I agree with you completely when we deal with simple or even complicated projects. In complex systems it appears to me that planning as helpful as it might be it can't rule out the trial and error approach for small changes may have drastic influence on results. This is because the cause and effect are interconnected and the output of an effect could be the cause of something else. We may plan, but should also be ready for surprises whenever we deal with complexity as humans are. I thank you for your great elaboration.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Maybe to find out that you made a tiny and unobservalble mistake was responsible for the wrong planning :)))

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #3

Planning & forecast: once you know that any forecast is wrong you better planned for it :-)

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
My pleasure dear friend

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Edward Lewellen- you are mentioned in this buzz

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