British military historian Sir Michael Howard wrote, "I am tempted to say that whatever doctrine the armed forces are working on now, they have got it wrong. I am also tempted to declare that it does not matter.... What does matter is their ability to get it right quickly, when the moment arrives." Howard was exactly right. As we, the leaders, deal with tomorrow, our task is not to try to make perfect plans. It is not possible to make perfect plans, but we will not be held to a standard of clairvoyance. Our task is to create organizations that are sufficiently flexible and versatile that they can take our imperfect plans and make them work in execution. That is the essential character of the learning organization.
- Gordon R. Sullivan and Michael V. Harper, Hope Is Not a Method