Your Crucial – and Unwritten – Plan – Linda Hill & Kent Lineback – Harvard Business Review

Your unwritten plan is far broader and more fluid than your written plan. Your unwritten plan exists in your mind as a living, evolving understanding of what you do, where you’re going, why you’re going there, and how you’re going to get there — all based on your current understanding of how the future will unfold and how you can shape and influence it.

Your written plan covers the near future and may even look out two or three years. Your unwritten plan, however, anticipates what is coming over the distant horizon where things are still out of focus. Even if you cannot see clearly, you still need to look out as far as possible to discern thunder clouds or clearing skies that might materialize. As that hazy future comes closer and more into focus, you can incorporate what you see into your written plans.

In sum, a written plan covers only those portions of your thinking that are clear, specific, focused, thought-through, and ready to go public as a formal (and often official) document bearing the title “Plan.” Unwritten plans consist of your and your group’s thoughts — ranging from vague hunches to roughly-written ideas — about the future and how all of you will create it. Formal, written plans are prepared at key points, while unwritten plans are living, dynamic possibilities that constantly change as you learn more from experience and carry on discussions with your people and network.

via Your Crucial – and Unwritten – Plan – Linda Hill & Kent Lineback – Harvard Business Review.

Unwritten plans fit to my theory of Internal Choice Environment

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