Planning for agility

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. -Dwight D. Eisenhower

We send our entire organization a Daily Drucker insight to spur thought, conversation, and ensure we are on the same page with planning and execution of our mission and vision.

Recently it included timely and timeless wisdom on the nature of complex systems.[1] With how fast the world is changing, we all must learn to adapt quickly to our ever-evolving environments.

“The ‘butterfly effect’ is a whimsical but mathematically rigorous (and experimentally proven) theorem showing that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can and sometimes does control the weather in Chicago a few weeks or months later.”

The complex systems presently at play in regard to missions include: market-globalization, migration, diaspora, urbanization, connectivity, and technological impact, to name a few. Each of these factors are highly unstable, unpredictably changing, and forcing us to try to strategize and “plan” in the midst of chaos.

This is why we have shifted to an adaptive plan with directives rather than a strategic plan with global objectives.

The world moves and ideas that were once good are not always good. – Dwight D. Eisenhower


In planning for the long-term, it’s the short-term steps, decisions, and our responses to the unpredictable “external” complexities constantly shifting the terrain of our journey. The destination remains our true north — God’s Word. Every Child. doesn’t change. However, each step of the journey requires we be willing and able to remain agile and adaptable to the unknowns and unpredictable variables we encounter along the way.

[1] Source: Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-13). The Daily Drucker (p. 98). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 2 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

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