Friday, May 1, 2009

Why students fail to plan?

Ever heard of the adage “When fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Its very clichéd I know. But there are some truths to it. We always here this kind f stuff in motivation camps and what not but students don’t do planning, and even if they do they do it poorly. And what is most funny, a lot ‘student leaders’ go to so many camps but have no understanding or idea what planning is. So why do students fail to plan?

Students are afraid to fail…

Before you need to plan, you need to set a specific target or objective like 50 people coming for you activity. But a lot of students don’t do this because they are scared to fail. If they set a specific target and they did not achieve the target, it will be very obvious that they fail. And students don’t want this to happen because they don’t want to be humiliated or their image or reputation tarnished. This is worse because of politicizing culture of Malaysians. All students want to ‘save face’. There are a lot of ‘talkers’ among student leaders, so setting proper objectives is important to separate the ‘talkers’ and the ‘doer’. Did I mention I hate those ‘very good at talking only’ student leaders?

Students don’t really understand what planning is for...

Usually when a student club do planning, they will forget the details and when they start doing a lot of things will differ from the planning. And when that happens they will think planning is useless. Things will never go 100% go exactly to plan but if we don’t plan we will surely fail. Let me give you an analogy, if we want to go Johor Bahru from Kuala Lumpur, and somehow you would end up at Ipoh. If you did make some good planning, you would know something is wrong and you have to turn back. But if you don’t, you would think Ipoh is still ok. This is the problem with student leaders, good planning acts as a guide or ruler. It should let you know whether you are currently on track. If you’re not you have to work harder or find a solution. The problem is students forget to check their situation consistently and frequently. So, they don’t know whether things are ok or not. And if things are not ok, they would keep going down the path of failure, ignorant to the situation. And when the activity fails, they blame each other. It’s a managerial problem. A problem to which a solution you should be learning at the so many camps you are going. Not learning to do the ‘chicken dance’…sigh.

Students don’t know what they really want to do…

Sometimes students do projects because they are forced to do it by their pengetua or club advisor or just because everyone does so. They’re not sincere and do things for the wrong reasons. Because of this the student who is leading the project, don’t know what they really want to do and cannot really imagine what the project should be like. When they cannot picture the project, they cannot see what is really needed to run the project. Ultimately, the planning that they do doesn’t prepare them for the real challenges that they are going to face.

Whatever it is the reasons are, planning is important. Real organizations use planning. When you work in real world, you will surely do a lot of planning. So why don’t start familiarizing yourself with it. Try to find planning tips online. We should be learning these kinds of things when we do our extra-curricular activities, in camps and so on, especially in Kem Pemantapan Organisasi. But I guess everybody is good at saying students need soft-skill and bla bla bla…but have no idea how to do it.

PS: Share your experience and view of planning in student organizations by commenting this article.

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