Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

It is not uncommon for there to be common ground between business strategy and military strategy. One example is an approach promoted by Helmuth von Moltke (1800–1891) where the German field marshal believed in developing a series of options for battle instead of a single plan, saying “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength.” Today, “no plan survives contact with the enemy” is the popular reconfiguration of this concept.

Sir Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower had similar views. Churchill said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential,” while Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”  

Well-known military strategist and modern-day philosopher Mike Tyson also advanced this view of planning with what might be his most commonly quoted line:

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

Mike Tyson explained that when he uttered those famous words when interviewed before his fateful fight with Evander Holyfield, where the press was asking how Tyson would handle Holyfield’s speed, movement, reach and other factors.

Clearly, Tyson was saying that you can plan all you want, but you’re going to get hit – probably when you don’t expect it – and it’s going to hurt.  This is when you need to have planned strategically and be ready to implement changes to existing strategies

Our businesses are a world away from military genius’ like Moltke, Churchill, Eisenhower, and Mike Tyson. When you meet with your Business Advisor, strategic military operations aren’t likely to be discussed.

There may be, however, good thoughtful discussion regarding the changing, unpredictable nature of your current business environment and the need to periodically take measure of our circumstances, re-assess, and re-adjust all your plans.

For help developing or re-assessing your strategic plans for your business, get in touch with us at The Dasiemme Group by calling 1300 123 TDG (834)

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