The best made plan

Reflecting on my last blog post made me think of a quote that I have started using in my campaign training.

“No battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy.” This great line is credited to Helmut von Moltke. While it may have been constructed for military purposes, I think it is a great reminder for campaigners.

Whenever I develop my campaign plan, or theory of change, I am always struck at how I need to change it as soon as I start to have contact with external allies, opponents and targets.

And that surely is the beauty of the theory of change approach to campaigning. You make it based on the best of your intelligence, but you stand ready knowing that it will never survive the first contact with the outside world.

You should welcome that fact, and cherish that campaigning is an ever-changing, dynamic process in which you are trying to build momentum for a campaign. No plan can stand still and us campaigners should embrace that reality.

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