Rule #1: Plan for Change, Not Perfection

Focus on planning, not plans

As U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” We need to stick vigilantly to our purpose, not the plans we make to get us there. We need to approach planning as a way of thinking, not a set “product” or “plan” that has value in and of itself.


Purpose guides us.

A large southeastern county district (100,000 students, 100 schools) embodies the rule: Plan for Change, Not Perfection by developing a clear purpose and vision for their district’s future state, without getting trapped in the traditional model of detailed strategic planning. Their roadmap provided enough structure to ensure that they were “on track” toward annual goals, and also left enough room to respond to school needs as they arose. For more on this case study see the Planning chapter in The NEW School Rules book.


These activities will help you and your team test out new ways of planning

Planning Workout #1B

This workout focuses on Rule #1: Plan for Change, Not Perfection. It helps you build skills to be a better planner and to develop plans that have the flexibility to allow for learning and iteration.

New Workouts Coming Soon

We’ll be continually adding new workouts and activities. Come back to our website or sign up for our newsletter to be sure you have access to the latest and greatest NEW School Rules resources.

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Consensus as a strategy is often overused and misused. Instead of defaulting to consensus, we need to focus on how to get clearer about roles and authority.

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