The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men, Go Oft Awry

In 1785, so legend has it, the Scots poet Rabbie Burns, whilst he was ploughing a field, accidentally destroyed the nest of a mouse and was so moved by what he had done that he penned the following words (amongst others)...




But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,

In proving foresight may be vain;

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft agley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,

For promis'd joy!


Rabbie was reflecting on the role of fate in life and the futility of planning for the future in an uncertain world. Something which is as true for any one of us today of was for yon 18th Century mouse.

Maybe you think it's too much of a leap from the state of that "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie" to that of the most empowered CEO of any multi-national. But I suspect if you asked Tony Hayward of BP on the morning of April 20th 2010 when he got news of Deepwater Horizon, he'd have felt very much as if a plough had ripped into his best laid plans for that day, and of many to follow.

We can't possibly imagine everything that could ever happen, but we can equip ourselves with the wherewithal to work out what's going on and respond powerfully to it.

I can only suppose if Mousie had a subscription to FlowForma BPM she might just have been better placed to find a new Housie in time to survive the winter. Alas, we were too late for her, but we are here now, and we can empower your users with the agility to react in this uncertain world.


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