One of my mentors impressed upon me early in my administrative career the power of forecasting.
Forecasting is a pre-flective (as opposed to reflective) process that consists of several steps:
- Thinking about potential problems and upcoming conversations/decisions.
- Considering all the possible pathways that those events might take.
- Consider carefully how we, as leaders, can respond/react to the natural flow of those potentialities/eventualities.
It’s not manipulation; it’s not voo doo. It’s careful and thoughtful cognition about possibilities and opportunities.
Forecasting does not necessarily prevent train wrecks, nor does it ensure fluid progress toward goals and vision. It can, however, assist one in averting problems and influencing positive outcomes.
Forecasting can help us react/respond more wisely, with fewer hiccups, and less loss of time/energy/resources (and sometimes even, life or limb).
The underlying assumption is that we are actually paying attention to the things going on around us.