How do you make a plan for the rest of this year? If the last six months have taught us anything it’s that we can’t predict the next twist in the story. So is planning a pointless waste of time?

This is the (polite) argument that I’ve been engaged in this week while I was supposed to be working hard on other things. Granted, it’s difficult to see what the future will look like, but is planning still worthwhile?

My point is that actually we have never known what the future holds – the unknown is nothing new. What is hitting harder at the moment is the uncertainty; the range of potential outcomes that are theoretically possible and those that haven’t seemed possible up to this point. There’s also a big chunk of consequence; in many businesses there’s less margin for error now.

So in the current scenario I’m pushing to follow General Eisenhower’s dictum: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Without having devoted some quiet time to assess what we’d like the plan to be and, more importantly, what we’d like it to deliver we won’t have the right perspective to spot potential opportunities as they arise.

While it may take time, focus and some out of the box thinking, having a plan which you can adapt later remains the best way to order your thinking and prioritise action. And who knows, that preparation may put you in the position where you can see new opportunities arise out of the uncertainty!