How can I, as a professional and entrepreneur, do my best to foresee consequences/situational changes before making vital decisions?
I believe in being broad-minded and always looking towards the future, but it is not possible to have a "360 degree" perspective of a situation all the time. I would like to learn about methods that can be employed to foresee consequences and situational changes before making a vital decision.
I believe I am good worker as professional with ethics. I absolutely use my work hours to produce and study and only make valuable communication. I did foresee that others who were new were given facility even to as personal situation such as pregnancy, where else at my own pressing personal issues at home, I appealed numerous times for some flexibility to allow myself some time of relieve such as flexible work hours and work from home which was ultimately and completely denied. Despite my significant contributions, I did foresee that I was never respected or in the first place trusted. As there was someone small who were stalking me before I joined, hence he made the organization to employ his workers to victimize me, hence there was a reception who did lots and lots of pork fire sabotaging my reputation and image working hands together with another of her kind who does cleaning. I was humiliated many times even for an incident of not having water supply at home due to government's construction, there was another kind who made me write that down of me not having water supply and that I live in a village house. His workers were all the time making it a point to humiliate and sabotage my image despite being a good worker. Finally when I foresee that I was not respected or even trusted, I was never given a chance for any lineancy, I foresee myself that I should never stay in a place where I have nor respect neither trust, hence I resigned by bashing that local men eater.
I suggest to view your situation before making a vital decision in this 4 angles:
1. Advantages and disadvantages
2. Alignment with your values
3. Alignment with your vision
4. Emotion/opportunity vs. fear
In my coaching practice, I use what is called a Pain/Gain model which factors in pros/cons and also factors in how your thinking or beliefs have to change to move forward. Working with the client we also examine values and tie decisions back to the BIG WHY. If you use a model for values-based decision making, tied to a larger purpose it gets you much closer to the ideal of regret-free decision making. Happy to help if you need...
There are a lot of methods available to you. First, remember that the chinese character for risk is a blending of the symbols for threat and opportunity: it translates to "face your risks." This means that you have to develop some alertness of threat events and for opportunity events. You should have a mental plan (and possibly a written plan) for those events, should they occur.
Another is what I call the Compact Approach to Strategy: it is a series of 3 questions: 1) what are the mistakes I must not make? 2) What are the mistakes that others must not make? 3) what resources to I have to deal with the unexpected.
The future can't be forecast, but you can make yourself more "futures ready." What are the plausible, probable, and possible future scenarios that you might face.
I coach people in learning how to think strategically, and these are all learnable skills. To apply them, you have to have some personal drive to succeed and discipline in learning and applying them.
One of the best approaches that I know is actually trial and error. You really can't make a "bad" or "wrong" decision. Taking action on a decision only yields a result (give you more data). Based on the new data you have now gathered, you can decide to continue in that direction, or not. It's not good or bad - just data. If you wait until you think you have all the bases covered before taking that next step - you will never take that step. I normally go by the rule of thumb - what's the worst thing that can happen if I do XXX. If I can not handle the "worst thing" - than I take some additional time to put some risk management/contingencies in place. If I can handle the "worse thing" - I go for it.
This is a simplistic answer to a in-depth question. I coach on decision making and have workshops on the topic if you like additional information.
Dear Arthanari. The reality is that no-one can predict the future. Whilst historical data and experience might assist in assessing what might happen tomorrow, there are no guarantees. Forecasts go wrong all the time and we can never predict human behaviour, economic or natural disasters. What I would suggest is that we educate ourselves to embrace uncertainty. We can plan but only by referring to today's data, which is already out of date and which can change rapidly. So make decisions based on what feels right with the information you have available - you can do no more. Best Wishes, Anton
Hi Arthanari , when you put your business plan together.
Did you incorporate a Disaster plan.
If not you should. A disaster plan offers key triggers for which you already have a mapped out course of action. along with a countermeasure plan so that you minimize the current situation, and you are prepared to some degree.
The other thing is not to believe what others are saying. Unless you trust them and they understand your business and it's market. Even so, still check out the facts. Remember this if sky is falling, may not be true for everyone.
Another thing to do is to insulate your business by being involved in different markets. That way if one market is down, they other may not be.
My personal philosophy is "to expect the best , but be prepared for the worst"
that way, as much as possible you are not surprised buy much.
Experience and gut feeling are the keys besides not-so-perfect information around the matter. There is no 100% certainty in any decision. It is the way you act after decision is made more important. Once a decision is made, there should not be any doubt before you see a failure. Once you see the failure, you, as a leader, should be the first to come out admit the mistake, even though the collective decision was made by the team.
Discuss important items with business partners and trusted friends in your industry - plain and simple.
It is true you cannot predict the future. Everyone faces the same economic winds, booms or bust and steady as she goes. Same way you cannot know what is in your customer or employees minds. However an important skill to learn is, how to be flexible. Change is natural. When it starts happening, sit down,grab pen and paper. 1.Clearly define the change occuring 2.Distill ... what does the change mean for you and your business. 3. Identify the action you need to take to minimize disruption to your business .4.Take action
Hope this assists you
You will never have all the information, but you can take steps to gain as much as possible. The most important of these steps is not to operate with tunnel vision. When you first learn to drive you focus on the 20 metres in front of you. Only as you get more experienced do you realise that the road in front of you is simply a road. The dangers come from your peripheral vision where people can drive out of side roads or step out from behind vehicles. Constantly look around yourself through listening to customers, reading publications, searching the web etc. You will never have 360 degree vision, but, as with driving, an arc of 120 degrees is significantly better than the 5 degrees in front of you.
If your professional decision is based on unbiased, just and fair, then none of your action can go wrong.. Just stick to towards giving best to your occupation and fair to your dealing. You will be able to conquer your hurdles whatever it may be.
This is a very high level question. In asking it, there is a tacit presumption that you already have the present and past under control, and are now most concerned with future optimization. The nature of the future is transcendent of the ego. It is best known and regulated by your Future Self. Be attentive, trusting and responsive to your gut intuitions and you will further your relationship with this guardian sentience.
Some fantastic advice here to take on board .....I would just add a couple of quotes one from Heraclitus "Everything changes and nothing remains still ... and ... you cannot step twice into the same stream" So be ready for change because it will happen and there is nothing to fear.....and one from Michael Porter - "Sound strategy starts with having the right goal."
There is a process for decision making that I train, it is called Decision Matrix with Consequence Extrapolation. Essentially it is an evolution of the basic Decision Tree with a matrix pointing to potential outcomes, factoring time related changes and risks, weighting positive and/or negative outcomes and considers the law of unintended consequences. It needs graphic representation to make sense but it is proprietary so I don't give it away but for free advice you should feel good that you are looking for a process to guide decisions when you can't see around the corner. You can develop that process or, of course, have someone with a proven record for training/coaching a decision process. It is something you may buy once but will use your entire life.
Develop a plan but be willing to revisit and change the plan every 3 months. Recognize you'll never anticipate everything, but if you are open-minded and willing to learn, you'll adapt to what comes your way and plan for it as a result.
As you well said already, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to anticipate all the probable outcomes of a situation or decision at the same time, but the construction of diverse scenarios according to probabilities of occurrence could be a great help In order to "see the forest", without losing of view of the tree (our tree os interest). This analysis can be so simple or complex as it is possible to be handled. Some software developpers, as Oracle, had build good forecasting applications based on Monte Carlo and other predictive models.
You can learn some more here: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/crystalball/overview/index.html?ssSourceSiteId=opn.
Arthanari; Sorry to say, it depends on the type of decision you are considering; if you are a business owner and are making product decisions, then by knowing what the customers want, what the market looks like and what condition the overall industry is in are essential;
If you are making a hiring decision, look for candidates that have a proven work ethic, team player, communicator and test their skills as best you can;
If you are considering a project, make sure all involved know the desired results and their individual responsibilities and tasks to complete and when.
There are no certainties in making decisions, we all make mistakes or are impacted by unforeseen conditions; one very important criteria is to be flexible knowing that you may have to overcome issues that you did not count on.
I wish you the best,
Hi Arthanari - great question and deserving of a great answer. From my 36+ years coaching leaders to create improved results consistently, I have two ;-)
1. From a common Conscious (thinking) view, there are resources, gurus and sHelf-help that will provide ... some of the 'answers', ... some of the time. If that. These unproductive resources are commonly selected by those who consistently rely on 10% of their brain. That's right. Only 10%. And create the potholes and blind spots that can only exist when scripted that way - hallucinating AT its best, though not FOR ... your ... best. How's that working for you now? Until I learned 2., below, I was stuck here too (prompted me to create the "Get UNstuck NOW!" community).
2. The other 90% is from a Quantum, UNconscious (inner truth) view, where there is only one single 'answer' at any single moment, that serves you best. How can it be so? Because ALL learning, ALL behaviour and ALL change occurs in the UNconscious (there is no Conscious element to it. None. Nada. Zip.) And when one harnesses that awesome energy (it is 100% natural, in-born and always accessible), your world opens up for you to embrace it. Consistently.
In life, at work, in sports, everywhere you select to be. Ahhhhhh, nice!
And for any 10%ers reading this far ;-), what is the very real cost to delay harnessing option 2? Oh, just keeping and increasing ALL that baggage, ALL that unneeded negative emotions and ALL those self-limiting beliefs that have prevented you from being your best self. Kind of staggering when you think of it that way! And that is the truth.
So how does one access that 90%? Go with your heart/gut 100% of the time (if you like, do bring along your intellect for the ride ;-0.
That is what is meant when we say ALL decisions are made in an instant emotionally, then justified intellectually. Imagine how your life will manifest when there is no justifying needed, as you automatically are guided, consistently to what serves you best. That's right.
Resources: Google 'Hakalau' and I wrote about the Quantum Change Process at www.is.gd/Quantum.
Let me know how I can be of service to you now.
PS regarding '360 degree', I recall my manager at IBM (I was on the WTAAS team - created the world's 1st online transaction processing system) once said 'What does problem analysis truly provide?: perfect documentation to re-create the same problem, anytime you choose, on demand." Yikes! ;-)
I recommend that you, if you haven't already, define the core values of your company. Then define the mission and the vision with those values in mind. Communicate this information very clearly to all employees and lead by example, in that all decisions you make have to fit with the values, mission and vision. Instruct your managers to do the same, lead by example, and make it clear that taking the wrong decision is better then not taking a decision as long as you always are willing to admit that the decision was wrong and does not fit with the values, mission or vision and that you then do lessons learned and take a revised decision. Let these 3 cornerstones of the company guide you and your management team and your employees will follow. Your clients will start to sense that the core of the company is strong, and the whole company is working as one. Leadership is about leaving your ego at the door and showing people the way, not telling them "what to do" or even more "how to do it" but telling them what the company needs and why it needs it.