Planning Styles: Clear Objectives or Emergent Energy?

Clear Objectives or Emergent Energy?

Over the last two days, I’ve connected with two of my super important mentors.

One encourages me to develop clear sets of objectives that lay out the next year or two or three. The other encourages giving my emergent energy lots of latitude.

Planning Styles at Odds or In Sync?

One mentor highlights the freeing nature of deciding where you want to go and then going there, step by step.  That approach diminishes unnecessary and unproductive work and effort.  It enables you to measure your results and track your progress.

The other provides opportunities to catch the breezes and eddies of existing energy currents and move forward boosted by the natural ebbs and flows of your own energy and others.

On the face of it, these approaches seem at odds with one another.

Do you plan or do you flow?

These planning styles are often framed as one or the other. Even I’ve written about them that way.

But I think it’s possible — even preferable — to use them both, simultaneously.

Planning for 2020 Using Both Styles

So, today, I have written out my 4-Year Goals, both personal and professional.

Why four years? Because that’ll take me to 2020. And that’s the year of perfect vision. It seems worth heading toward, don’t you think?

I’ll add measurable objectives to each goal. And then, I’ll catch the flows of emergent energy to help me accomplish them. I’ll make sure to take time every quarter to check that the goals still have the energy that keeps them lively.

When the energy gets stuck for too long — when I can’t get myself to make progress — I’ll reconsider the goals.

And that, I believe, is like having my cake and eating it too. Clear goals on the wings of emergent energy. Not a bad combination.

A Note of Thanks

My thanks to Richard and Carol whose wisdom, advice and friendship help me figure out what my goals are and find the courage to let my emergent energies fuel the trip!

TryTry ThisThis

Determine Your Style: Clear Objectives or Emergent Energy?

Are you a goal setter? Or do you prefer going where the energy propels you?

Make a mental note of how you plan and then motor on to your goals. What works best for you? Do you see goal setting and emergence opposed or in congruence?

Leave a comment about your planning process in the comments below, or let yourself be propelled by your emergent energy over to Facebook and leave your comment there.

Photo Credit: Copyright: alvinge / 123RF Stock Photo