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.
No easy answers here, of course. Here are the things I've done, generally, to be as informed as I can prior to making vital decisions:
1) have an advisory board! So many entrepreneurs don't do this. Get the best board you can, people you respect, and make sure you get different temperaments, skill sets and backgrounds - the goal is "constructive conflict", so that you benefit from differing opinions
2) read broadly, as often as you can. Not just your industry - psychology, philosophy, travel, science, decor, etc.
3) put your "pros and cons" down on paper. Prepare the arguments for and against, then do it from your customers point of view, then your suppliers, then your competitors. Then synthesize, as best you can.
Without knowing specifically what you're working on, those ideas are the things that have helped me most in the past.
Best of luck Arthanai,
A couple of thoughts on your situation, anticipation, trends, resources and relationships. Here's a big one: Trends. These are like waves. You can let them crash into you or build a surfboard and ride them. Companies and firms plus organizations must identify major forces of change.
Collect resources and contacts: I can tell you the dozens of times I have a need and I call for a second thought or to bounce an idea off another. A different approach. I use my 9P's of Marketing or Nine P's of marketing --- at http://nineps.com to solve problems by identifying them first. The more resources you have and relationships you have the better. Your success and future will depend on and will come to those with the vision to see down the road, the creativity to collect resources and the ability to take risk. Hope this helps and sparks an idea or resource for you.
Think about key factors and people, involved in the decision and always have a, b and c plans. But the main thing I'd say is follow your intuition. You either get success or a lesson - that's what makes a good leader.
Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. In my opinion the best way to predict the future and to anticipate the road ahead is to have the right mentors and coaches who use "pattern recognition" and can see the blind spots because they have been down that path before.
Does not answer your question directly but this is the only way that has worked for me.
Michael is right. It helps to have psychic abilities. Fortunately, we all do! While it is absolutely valuable to use your rational sense to forecast as much as you can (i.e. cost-benefit analyses and the like), you can also employ your intuition. Some of the best minds in the world, including Einstein, have suggested that we rely too much on rational thought in favour of our intuition when making decisions.
Our intuition has a more holistic view of a situation than the rational mind, which draws its conclusions from deductive reasoning based on what we see and hear. Intuition is connected to our feeling sense, giving us a broader perspective from which to make our decisions.
There is a scientific basis for going with your "gut feeling". The enteric nervous system in your intestinal tract contains 100 million neurons, such that scientists refer to it as our "second brain". When we are heading in the wrong direction, we will get a tightness or uneasiness in the gut. If we learn to pay attention to that sensation, it will guide us to stop, sit, and get the internal messages we need regarding our decisions.
This can be so fine-tuned that it will affect everyday decisions. I have left slots open in my work schedule for clients hours or days before they call, because I sense that I will have a booking at that time.
When I go to events, I sit in the chair where my feeling sense tells me I should sit. Invariably, I discover a significant connection with the people who sit next to me.
The Chinese call this "auspiciousness" - being in the right place at the right time.
In quantum physical terms, we know that through entanglement, everything is connected. So, by following our intuition, we can read the underlying energetic pattern of everything, and situate ourselves where it's best for us to be.
That does not necessarily mean our path will always be smooth, but we will be in the best scenario for our growth and development - personally and professionally - if we are working to develop from the inside out.
When considering an important decision / change / choice, it is always a good idea to talk with your advisors including your accountant, your attorney, and your insurance agent. You may disagree with them but getting their feedback is always a good idea. Some entrepreneurs establish a board of advisors that includes clients.
Talk to your advisors, in addition evaluate your decision and its impact on your strategic plan. Running a business is always a potential for risk, however great business leaders try to make the most educated risk possible. Other times you just have to live with the consequences like in the housing bubble of 2007, most didn't see the writing on the wall, but they learned a great set of skills to evaluate the trend if it occurs again. If you have employees also always take inconsideration the impact on them and their families as well as yours. in my experience it has always helped be to look over the situation from multiple prospectives to make a better choice in the end.
I suggest that you make use of what is referred to a the decision mode/tree:
As a manager, first of all, your responsibility is never to put the life of your company at risk if failure is the result of a "gamble." Taking a risk is fine, and is part of running a business, but those risks must be manageable.
As far as the "tree" is concerned:
1. Line up your options
2. assign an educated guess as to the probability of success of each choice times the maximum return.
3. Choose the option that projects the best bottom line result.
In order to forsee consequences and situational changes in advance you would need to have psychic abilities. Transitions occur all of the time.
The way you minimize negative events from occurring is to understand human behavior. You can measure human behavior tendencies in advance through the use of industrial organizational assessments. Assessments of this nature should be administered by Industrial Organizational psychologists.
The first step is to establish a particular culture first. Once that is achieved, then hire employees that fit the culture. Utilize the assessments to identify the cultural behaviors that you desire so you will then have a team of employees that are less likely to create serious problems.
However, changes will occur. The way you then measure on an ongoing basis is to then offer anonymous 360 assessments so that you will have a handle about what the employees are thinking, pro or con about many issues. Once that is complete it is then in your best interest to take the comments seriously, and openly discuss how you can "fix" problems. I would ask all employees on your team (remember - you hired a common culture) to offer the way they would like the problems addressed. There should be no recriminations ever.
If you create this type of environment, it will be far easier to make vital decisions. More than likely, your team will make them for you in advance because they are all on the same wave length. There are never any guarantees that every decision is the right one. Business is always a practice. There will be mistakes made and lessons learned. That is how you get better. Most importantly, your team will learn as well. One man show businesses can be profitable, but are subjected to whims and fancies and daily moods of the owner. What I am suggesting is a far better method of growing company that has common values and shared responsibilities.