What to do when your American counterpart obsesses about planning?

The US based counterpart with whom you deal  may tend to place more value on planning that you do, especially if you are based in India, China, the Mid East or in the Mediterranean  countries.

Because this is the way that “empires” think, ie, that the world can be controlled, there is only so much you can do. Here are a few tips when you notice obsession with planning:

1) If you want to make your US based counterpart aware that there are unknowns, it is best to suggest that “we plan for unknowns”.

2) Suggest to do “risk assessment” of the “soundness “ and “basic assumptions” of the plan.

3) If you think that the plan is overly rigid, suggest a contingency plan, based on different assumptions.

4) Try to allow the Americans to feel  they are in charge as much as possible; when ‘implementation’ deviates from the plan, try and position this  as part of the original plan, or as a “minor abberation” of an otherwise sound plan.

However, do not push your America based colleague too far away from planning, who lies at the heart of how empires think. Work within the system.

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