Monday, October 16, 2017

Forecasting

The best organizational leaders I know are excellent forecasters.  

Just like the best weather forecasters, these wise leaders run models (in their minds, with their teams, across their networks) of the possible outcomes of a particular event/initiative/election/scenario/conversation.

Just like the best weather forecasters, these wise leaders know that, when the dust settles, only ONE of the possible scenarios will have played out (even though hundreds of potentialities might have been considered).

Just like the best weather forecasters, these wise leaders know that shifting conditions can change the outcome potentialities in a matter of minutes, completely undoing and/or negating previous anticipations (and any commensurate contingencies put in place).

Just like the best weather forecasters, these wise leaders know that the ultimate outcomes are NOT within their control.  Mother Nature always bats last.

Just like the best efforts in weather forecasting, these wise leaders know that, at the end of the day, they could be proven wrong.  Or right.  Neither seems to matter that much because the attention of the public/organization shifts quickly to the next storm on the horizon.

Why, then, invest the effort, time, and thinking into anticipating futures?  With weather forecasting, it's a matter of safety, risk management, and saving lives.  In short, stewardship.  Same goes for the motivations behind such forecasting by organizational leaders (though hopefully not so much about saving lives).  

For leaders there is the added element of organizational stability and stewardship.  The wisest leaders invest time in those forecasting and contingency planning activities because it's the right thing to do, for the team.

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