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Plan of Attack

You may never stick to one, but you should plan anyway.
September 1, 2001

While the 20th century was pretty much about established markets and processes, uncertainty has become the only certain element of the 21st century. So how do you plan for the future?

Dwight Eisenhower responded to the press's questions about D-Day by saying, "In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible." Follow his lead and view planning as a verb rather than a noun. That's the only way to avoid the paradox that as soon as you announce "a plan," you'll have to change it.

In a fast-changing world, today's expert is tomorrow's idiot. There are no more off-the-shelf approaches-you have to create a plan of your own. Take it from a futurist: The key to the future lies in the questions, not the answers. Here are some questions I ask myself about my business.

There has never been a more important time to plan . . . nor a better time for you to rely on your own counsel as you do it.

Watts Wacker-lecturer, bestselling author, political commentator, social critic and CEO of FirstMatter-is one of the world's most respected futurists.