A good business plan will generally hope to go some way towards setting down a number of things, such as a broad vision for the group, some important objectives and helpful benchmarks, and it may aim to help secure some of the required support and financing while discussing how the organization intends to enter the market and create value.

In laying out the essential items, business plans will also normally attempt to work out who the customer is, offer a description of the product, and place it all within the context of the existing market dynamic.  Plans look at that market framework and attempt to study it, picking out the pitfalls, grey areas, and potential for growth.  But context is everything.

In markets as dynamic as those today, nothing is static.  Groups such as Twitter may not only emerge out of the ether and into the global consciousness within a timeframe previously inconceivable, but can go on to impact and alter seemingly unconnected areas of our lives in ways that are entirely unpredictable.  Moreover, any successful organization is liable to experience unforeseeable transformations throughout its existence, thereby affecting a continuous cycle of change within and throughout the world it inhabits.

This new state of conditions and the multitude of butterfly-effects purveying throughout the business environment and beyond forces a re-examination of the way in which we prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead; the underlying reasons are manifold, but there are a few factors that cannot be ignored – chief among them, that of accelerating change.

Moore’s law, named after Intel Corporation founder Gordon E. Moore, simply put, states that computer processing power will double every two years.  This cranking up of processing power – or the physical number of transistors per CPU (central processing unit) – at this exponential rate, has seen the leap from the clunky second-generation computers in charge of chunky operations in heavy industries; to integrated circuits and silicon chips, and the advent of keyboards and monitors with operating systems and graphic interfaces; to the developments in wearable technology and artificial intelligence that we see today.  Calculators the size of your kitchen to AI on your lapel in the time it took the lightbulb to get its first tungsten filament.

The belittling of such iconic machinery as the Apollo guidance computer by today’s ubiquitous handheld device might be argued as perhaps the starkest manifestation of this technology splurge, but it is the seismic cultural events of the personal computer and the internet whose shockwaves shall be most keenly felt down the ages.

The vertical leap that computing technology has undergone is by no means unique, however, and we can see similar spikes in global population, world GDP, internet traffic – occurrences which are far from interdependent and coincidental.  In fact, they can be partly explained by a form of positive feedback, where the growth of one factor has led to the growth of another, leading to further growth of that original factor and so on.  And by throwing increasingly more people, more bright ideas, and more technical capacity into this progress-loop, the potential for innovation has spiked, also.

As it happens, Moore’s law has come to be understood as a generalized term for this accelerating change occurring throughout technology and across the cultural and social plane, and in that context its essential principle should play an important role in how we go about thinking of ideas, making things, and delivering them to people who will appreciate them.

Moore’s law, then, tells us that in order to get ahead, we need to think on our feet, and very, very fast; it is said that in six days of today’s world, we create more data than all that which existed previous to 1980 – what a challenge this represents to those groups and individuals who seek to survive in and amongst such a fevered state of progress, let alone to those of us who would be at the threshold of it.  Planning is indeed required – but what kind?

Well, whatever form our planning takes, it must necessarily acknowledge the contemporary conditions of accelerating change and their far-reaching consequences.

Among those consequences is how the dynamics of competition have developed.  For example, significant progress in some areas that once might have gotten an organization to the head of the pack will now only get it to the starting line.

With the introduction of the moving assembly line in 1913, Ford Motor Company’s modern manufacturing techniques propelled the group to the very forefront of the automobile industry and beyond – so much so that by 1920 the Ford Model T accounted for more than half the world’s cars.  Yet it was not until 1919, a full six years after the implementation of the automobile industry’s first progressive assembly, that a native European competitor adopted the same practices in an attempt to level the playing field – by which time dozens if not hundreds of car manufacturers were already well on their way to going out of business.

Nowadays, though, globalization has led to a homogenization of business practices and operations, where advanced operations support systems are freely available in the form of data analysis, accounting systems, project management and warehouse management software; and where businesses and their communities, of whatever size and field, all enjoy access to the same vast resources of online studies, lectures and technical insight.

Essentially, we’re much quicker on the uptake these days.  Our intra-connected, multilayered, infinitely entwined, super-communicative modern world, sees to it that any emerging trend, or even cutting-edge theorizing, can quickly turn into established, standard fare.