The most common response to “Why do plans fail or end unimplemented?” is a lack of some resource. Usually we hear one or more of the Big Five Lacks: Money, Time, Personnel, Information, or Political Will.
But PUP was born with the initial observation that the true reasons are deeper than lacks. If you suffer a lack, you still need to ask why several times to get to a clear picture.
Our response has emerged over the years culminating in the concept of Holistic Planning (HP).
HP understands implementation not as simply checking off tasks on an action plan, but as a process that begins the moment the idea of a plan pops into someone’s head. In that moment, who will participate and how power will be distributed start taking shape, sending the idea down a pathway of no return, like a ball rolling off the top of a hill. One way down brings it to non-implementation; another brings it toward Holistic Planning where its chances are greater. In any case, this hill can be found in the DICE World (dynamic, impossible to completely understand, complex, and ever changing or evolving) rather than the PLUS World (predictable, linear, understandable, stable). The ideas of HP, PLUS, and DICE are developed in the book, The Future Has Other Plans: Planning Holistically to Conserve Natural and Cultural Heritage (published December 2016).
The following illustration depicts the stages of how PUP applies Holistic Planning (other organizations may structure it differently). But this orientation is a simplification to make it more readily understandable. In fact, each case requires an individual, organic and evolutionary approach.
The definition of Holistic Planning is
a facilitated, continuous dialogue with heritage area constituencies designed eventually to construct a consensus about a desired evolving future. To accomplish this, Holistic Planning
This video offers a glimpse into the core difference between conventional and Holistic Planning upon which is based the PUP Global Heritage Consortium and our upcoming book by Kohl and McCool (Fulcrum Books, 2016). This video was also made as a candidate for the TEDxMHK. The actual talk time is 3 min and 23 seconds with the rest dedicated to a written summary at the end.