The Mekaniks of Planning

Jack Ma: Founder and Chief Executive of Alibaba, speaking in an interview on Bloomberg last Friday morning, said: “The last century was the time for competition of the muscle. This one is the century for competition of wisdom, of experience and of care.”

Mr. Ma had at that point been speaking with deeply infectious enthusiasm about the fact that more than a third of senior executives at Alibaba, an Amazon type eTailer with 600 million monthly customers, were women. He concluded his interview highlighting the difference women brought to his business: “Women represented softer power. It is not the machine guns: it is the CARE… ” He said at the close.

He also talked of retiring earlier than Mr. Gates did, to focus the energy of his Jack Ma Foundation on Education. Specifically on those skills that are at the forefront of demand for the 21st century post-industrial world … often referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution [FIR] world.

In other words he wasn’t talking about specifically, mathematics or languages [He is a former English Teacher apparently] but rather a range of so-called, critical soft skills, that will be the main demand area for workers in a world run almost automatically.

His absolute certainty was that of the fabled “Man with a Plan”; The Randian legend so grimly loathed by whatever is left of the Left. Perhaps Ideology tends to defeat the reason planning requires.

Nonetheless his enthusiasm for his cause highlighted one of the less understood issues of our times, one that so routinely lies at the heart of many ills of society. I refer to the sheer power of a plan to achieve, almost psychically, its purpose.


In other words the former president of the country in which this bloggist lives has been routinely accused of failing to achieve any of the plans he helped forge [pun intended] under a range of names during his era of leadership.

On the other hand he is also currently the subject of a fairly public, formal, legal investigation into his role, in the ultimately rumbled, achievement of a plan so successful it has resulted in the ‘disappearance’ of, possibly, more than ONE ENTIRE YEAR”S earning’s of the country… a circumstance that lies right at the heart of the shock announcement earlier this week that the country has officially slipped [again] into recession.

If you lost every cent you worked to earn last year, how long do you think it would take you to make up the loss? Bear in mind that today is also the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Bros, an event that catapulted the world into the [so-called] Great Recession. Another failed plan… aside from those parties who featured in the movie The Big Short … a movie about how three unrelated parties had a plan and made a fortune when the market crashed.

There is also much talk about rising income disparity problems; as those persons with a plan, outstrip the plan free: to the inchoate rage of the latter.

Part of that rage is at the heart of the amazing decision by an entire nation at the other side of the world to take a plan free leap of a cliff called BREXIT with absolutely no idea of what becoming “Global Britain” actually means other than a catchy phrase, like the one our former president used to beguile those who needed beguiling with his “Vision 2030”.

We were treated to a globally excruciating exercise in humiliation, this week, for instance, when the current minion representing the former colonial overlords, performed a cringe worthy attempt at step dancing, with a collection of [now] liberated [giggling] children… The idea that she was engaged in an exercise to swap a trillion dollar market for one on the edge of bankruptcy has not yet actually registered apparently.

A while ago I was asked to give a talk on planning to a networking group that I have joined, to force myself to leave my house occasionally, for a reason other than to get milk and meat.

My purpose I was told, was to focus only on personal planning, with application to business: rather than the vagaries of politicians, and other forms of disregard.

I told them that planning has four components:

What do you want to achieve?
How do you propose to achieve it?
What methods are you going to use to measure your progress?
How are you going to keep yourself; and any you are taking with you, motivated and committed to the plan?

The talk was successful I was told: and afterwards many of the audience [a mainly young audience of happy wannabe upwardly mobile persons] more than a few of whom said they had never linked all the various ideas into the word ‘planning’ before: and felt they had had a form of Satori.

So in the next blog or two i will go into some more specific details that comprise what I call ‘The Mekaniks of Planning’. As the Networkers at the Profound Conference Centre: Network and Partnership session noted; they already know the words; I was simply opening them up, giving them kontext, putting them in a chain: then sprinkling some spices. Think of it as a trial.

I have been totally engrossed in my own mission for the first half and a bit of this year. So it was something of a return to reality. Therefore through, re-investigating the topic; and figuring out how to take stuff, I would normally in past times have spread out over whole days: and get it all down to an hour, I became increasingly aware of how few alleged PLANS simply didn’t happen… And while excluding the idea that some people involved in plan a are secretly following plan b, I thought maybe it was because it is not something everyone understands; especially if your origins are associated with an authority structure that required one to DO: Not to think: of planning. It simply wasn’t an option for most.

And habits
are difficult to
and can, in
with purpose: prove
fatal to purpose..

to be continued…


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