Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Planners

Richard C. Bernhardt, “The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Planners,” in Bruce W. McClendon and Anthony James Catanese, Planners on Planning (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 1996), pp. 37-52.

1. Credibility – To Care is to Build Trust:  it is said that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
2. Listening – To Listen is to Learn: planning is the art of the political. Planning is not black or white, but rather shades of gray. The planner must listen and more important, understand to be effective.
3. Research – To Research is to Supplement, not Supplant: there is never enough time to do all the research. Planners must balance the information available to do the job at hand.
4. Thinking – To Process Information Successfully is to find Solutions: more than professionals in other fields, planners must usually color outside the lines, seek innovative solutions, and find new approaches to problems. Think horizontally – think beyond the obvious and understand the interrelatedness of ideas.
5. Commitment – To Be Efficient, Planners Must Be Committed – Not every issue is worth fighting about, recognize the risks and strategically utilize your positions to bring issues forth that are important to the community
6. Continuing Education – To Grow Is Constantly to Seek Education: Reading journals, publications. Conferences and other formal educational opportunities; experiencing other communities.
7. Decision-Making – To Build Communities Requires Making Choices: communities often avoid tough decisions, making them takes political will; decisions must be based on a vision of what the community and society eventually can become; great communities are created through many small, deliberate individual decisions.
8. Implementation – To Implement a Proposal Is to Show You Care – People care more about how a plan will improve their community and their lives than they do about the plan itself.
9. Empowerment – To Transfer Responsibility Is to Build Community:  a solid partnership must be developed that begins at  project conception and continues through project completion; empowerment means that Planners Must Let Go
10. Responsibility – To Build Community Requires Community Responsibility: the planner may be able to bring certain resources to the problem, but without community responsibility, no amount of government involvement will bring success.‬