Yes, planning is considerably different in today’s workplace — in two distinct ways.
Here’s our take:
First, it is done in a much more iterative way with greater emphasis on cycles of doing and evaluating.
People still develop a plan – an approach – but the plan is often quickly followed by producing something to “look at” like a mock up, prototype, or model. Then, for each iteration, people check against metrics needed to determine success, and plan the next iteration or step. In this way planning and doing are much more tightly connected and doing is more frequently used to actually inform and improve the planning process.
Second, planning is much more inclusive.
The second aspect of planning that is different and distinct is the need for coordination and inclusion of various people and teams in the planning process. Older organizations were more formal, centrally controlled, and tightly managed. Planning “from above” negated the need for a focus on coordination and collaboration.
Today, with innovation an imperative and leadership distributed around the organization, it is not always possible (or even a very good idea) to centrally plan and control all initiatives. Because many of today’s most important initiatives are so complex, they demand input from a wide variety of sources. This puts an increased emphasis on planning in a highly coordinated and collaborative way.