Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

This paradoxical phrase explains a great deal. Time and time again I’ve found myself forced to discard the results of some lengthy planning exercise… but I’m always so much better off than if I’d simply improvised the whole thing. Concretely, this may be a matter of precomputing some of the branches and considerations involved, which might make it easier to think on my feet later. Very loose interpretation of “Chunks” in human cognition.

This phrase is attributed to {Eisenhower}, but it’s likely his adaptation of an earlier Churchill note: “the best generals are those who arrive at the results of planning without being tied to plans.” Eisenhower himself attributed the phrase to an anonymous soldier.