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Down with plans, out with process (in with re-invention)

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Now when people start celebrating the absence of business plans you'd be forgiven for shivering and thinking back to the grim days of 2000-1 and the bubble's deflation...

In discussing an investment in micro-blogging firm Twitter however, Umair Haque hits universal truth of this new web age on the head when he says:

When an industry requires total economic reinvention - new assets, capabilities, revenue streams, market space, the whole nine yards - it's futile to stick to the sterile nostrums of a printed "business plan".

As much in the reinvention of media and marketing as in business planning, we need to be ripping up the rulebooks, We may not live to see the day when a new rulebook is ever written... but the one certainty for next few years is rapid and profound change.

The problem with business plans built on old business processes is that, as Clay Shirky once put it, "process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity". 

In some senses, too restrictive a plan can get in the way of innovation, engagement with networks and the emergence of new value and new models. This is especially true with social media.

: : Bonus quote from Umair: "Spreadsheets aren't strategy." 


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As a survivor of Bubble 1.0, all this talk of throwing business plans out of the window makes me very nervous....

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