Teal Unicorn – Dr. Cherry Vu and I – have been in Europe for three weeks, working and touring. We finalised very little planning until the last minute, only those things the rest of the world insisted we should, such as international air tickets and conference presentations.
I booked travel and accommodation a few days ahead, which allowed us to pivot mid-trip, and not go to Denmark after all, adding Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, and Austria to our trip instead. Oh and we went to Luxembourg at the last minute too. And Abu Dhabi on a stopover, planned during the flight there.
This will seem like madness to many who haven’t read our book S&T Happens (and will still seem crazy to some who have).
It has been a useful exercise in proving the principles, e.g.
Be guided by a direction (spread the word of Open and promote Open IT), some goals (visit Potsdam where Cherry did her Masters; people we’d like to meet), and a set of principles.
Don’t have a single planned sequence beyond the Foreseeable Future, that which is clear and almost predictable (3-5 days on this trip).
Accept that reality forces you to plan into the Zone of Uncertainty, creating risks you must try to mitigate.
Have a “hand of cards”, a portfolio of options you could “play” in response to a range of possible scenarios.
Never decide or do anything until the last responsible moment.
Sense-make, plan, and reflect often.