March 28, 2013

Rearview Mirror Planning

"You can never plan the future by the past."

Edmund Burke
18th century British political writer

This is a fairly common belief, particularly among those who do not understand planning.

It assumes plans will be based solely or primarily on what has happened as opposed to what may happen.

Doing that would produce a bad plan, however that isn't how you plan.

Actionable plans are those that clearly understand not only what happened but of greater importance why it happened, combined with what currently is and what is assumed will be, all refined as new information becomes available.

In other words you have to simultaneously see where you've been and where you are to plan for where you want to be.


  1. who talked about being forced to relive the past if you don't study it?

  2. There are a number of quotes that may apply but I'm pretty sure you're thinking of one by George Santayana which goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."