The vast majority of businesses are being run to a plan first designed by Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours in 1799. To be fair, it was highly effective then, leading to the creation of the DuPont company – but would it work as well today?

In 1992, Peter Drucker, regarded by many as the all-time authority on business management, wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

“Uncertainty—in the economy, society, politics—has become so great as to render futile, if not counterproductive, the kind of planning most companies still practice: forecasting based on probabilities.”

I wonder what he would have to say today on the subject, given that little has changed in the three decades since?

So let me ask you a question: To what extent, if you removed the date and numbers from your business plans of last year, three, five or ten years ago, would they be materially different from your current one?

My bet is that your old plans aren’t working well enough – in which case it’s time for a new approach.

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