Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Prediction or Precaution





One thing I have noticed in reading theories and engaging in uncertain situations is that we tend to spend our time trying to predict outcomes which inevitably don't come to fruition. The growth of risk analysis has become a necessity of business today in any way shape or form. But the thing that gets me is that supposedly we have the ability to predict the future. You've all been a meeting where a group of highly trained professionals have done all the analysis and stood up their with confidence to say if you did this .. This will happen. Look the data told us so. Yes but that is from the past and how do we know that it is right for the future.

A lot of the time it never ends in what we assume either good or bad, cautious or overtly positive . Maybe we should try to assess the risk beyond just using data from the past with a right or wrong, black and white type attitude. Why don't we look at possibilities, not just definite outcomes. Looking to create scenarios of possible outcomes using our imaginations a little more and functional data from the past a little less makes a team more open to outcomes that weren't expected. It will automatically broaden your anticipated outcomes. This can lead to a broader more cautious approach that enables a team not to focus on being either be right or wrong according to predictions. But to be agile enough to adapt to whatever outcome to successfully exploit the situation. Not sit there scratching their heads wondering where it all went wrong . 


Next time you are sitting in a room planning for the future. Just throw in a couple of … what would we do if this happened ??. Pick the two extremes, no one bought this or we have people lining up for months. Then throw in a weird one like 'Our brand ambassador got busted on a drug charge'. At least having the conversation begins to work towards developing your abilities to adapt to unpredictable situations not just be right or wrong depending on past occurrences. 

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