All the planning and preparation in the world can’t keep bad things from happening. It’s a part of life. That’s why flexibility is key. Adapt, change, modify and ultimately do what you need to survive – that is the skill we need.
For example, read this post about a boating mishap while tuna fishing last season. Hair raising stuff, but also testimony to the need for flexibility.
In business, we make decisions based upon incomplete facts. It’s the nature of the beast, which means that we’re often wrong. We need to keep our eyes open and be able to recognize when the plan is flawed, and have the intestinal fortitude to make the necessary changes. Assumptions may be the mother of all screw ups, but blind obedience to the plan is it’s bastard father.
Flexibility allows you to change course, to improve, to learn adaptively, be it mid-course of a marketing campaign, or when situations arise during a project. It allows you to identify possible opportunities, and allows you to avoid bumps in the road.