Interactive planning, as defined and disseminated on by Russell L. Ackoff, focuses on creating the future by designing a desirable present. Interactive planning is unlike other types of planning, such as reactive planning, inactive planning, and preactive planning.
This is because interactive planning is focused in systems thinking and is "based on the belief that an organization's future depends at least as much on what it does between now and then, as on what is done to it". The organization will then create its future by continuously closing the gap between its current state and its desirable current state.
Interactive planning has three unique characteristics:
1) Interactive planning works backwards from where an organization wants to be now to where it is now.
2) Interactive planning is continuous; it does not start and stop.
3) Interactive planning lets the organization’s stakeholders to be involved in the planning process.