Planning is most suited to relatively certain circumstances in which processes and decisions are typically linear, argued Stanford’s Kathleen Eisenhardt and Behnam Tabrizi in their analysis of global computer product innovation.
In contrast, frequently-changing or uncertain conditions with many iterative modifications require improvisation coupled with frequent testing.
In “VUCA world,” described by the U.S. Army War College as volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous environments, current career “planning” occurs under rapidly-shifting conditions more appropriate for an agile strategy.
As a result, it is increasingly difficult to meaningfully respond to the frequently-asked interview question: “What are your career plans for the next five years?”
Iterative exploration, rapid prototyping/experimentation, and testing characteristic of agile development and design thinking are more suited for rapid changes in economic, political, and technology changes that affect known career paths.
Possible Futures of Work are investigated in three thought-provoking books:
- University of London’s Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson‘s Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive In the New World of Work
- Deloitte’s Cathy Benko and Molly Anderson, The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work
- Deloitte’s Cathy Benko and Anne Weisberg of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today’s Nontraditional Workforce
-*When have you found it more useful to “improvise” instead of “plan” your career?
-*What are the benefits and drawbacks of career “improvisation”?
- Four Career Trajectories: Linear, Expert, Spiral, Transitory
- “Derailing” Executive Personality Measures Predict Leadership Mishaps
- Managing “Triadic Managers” and Navigating Office Politics by Becoming a Little Like Them
- Leadership Qualities that Lead to the Corner Office?
- Developing “Big 8″ Job Competencies
- Training or Mentorship to Build Leadership Skills?
- Leadership “From the Inside Out”
- Executive Presence: “Gravitas”, Communication…and Appearance?
- Leadership Roles Reduce – Rather than Increase – Perceived Stress