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.
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.
Listen to your customers. Ask future-oriented questions from connections in your industry: what is next? What is missing? What do you see changing? Do directed online searching for "TREND" articles. Subscribe to industry blogs and peruse articles on your interest topics regularly. Crowd source decision background materials. Use survey monkey or such tools to survey folks. Revisit your previous decisions. Keep track of other than anticipated outcomes. Every 2 weeks, journal a lessons learned entry for yourself and review every 6-8 months. Read offerings such as provided by the Pew Research Center on changing demographics or Census Bureau Websites, or Patent and Trademark sites. Follow Industry Professional Meetings. Sponsor a think tank group for recent graduating students, get them to answer the above questions.
Finally, beta-test your ideas/products, employ usability testing with actual customers, built more than one prototype in the initial stages. Don't decide by committee. Decide based on principle and verify outcomes. Be prepared to adapt and change. Keep your time horizons short. The Rate of Change in technologies is outpacing a person's capacity for keeping up with it. So network and join forces with others.
1. You are the CEO of "Arthanari Inc.". Therefore, you should have a board of directors or a wisdom group that you can use to help you make better decisions.
This group will also challenge, stretch and coach you regarding how you view the world.
2. Use mind-mapping and decision analysis tools to help narrow the field in terms of your options in making decisions. (Kepner Tregoe, Fishbone diagram, Duncker diagram, etc.)
3. Pay close attention to your emotions and govern the accordingly when making decisions. Don't decide when you are in a highly emotional state. Take the time to clear your head before deciding.
I hope this helps.
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! ;-)
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.
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.
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.
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,
I would read the book "Lean Startup" for an answer to your question. Philosophically, there is no real way to anticipate or foresee the consequences of choices especially if they involve other humans. But there are ways to sift through and potentially mitigate risk using "The Five Whys" from Lean Startup. Download a copy or look for one at a bookstore.
I don't believe that any of us can clearly foresee every consequence for every impending decision to be made but we can bring to bear our years of experience in similar situations. I'm not sure in what industry/profession you are currently engaged but in my profession I actually hire and fire accountants and attorneys. It's tough to gain experience without having any prior experience. I guess the best option would be to speak with several professionals within the field in which you are faced with making a decision. Unless there is one person to whom you would turn I would advise you to seek multiple suggestions and then make your own decision based on the various points of view expressed by those to whom you have consulted. Good luck!
I have found that having a few solid colleagues or friends in business who bring a different perspective to a problem can help me think through a specific problem. If you know what your thinking style is then you can find someone who is the opposite and encourage them to offer suggestions to make your idea better.
I would not get too wrapped up in seeing the future or trying to anticipate every eventuality.
The reality is that no matter how long a person is in a business or how much experience they have there will ALWAYS be unforeseen circumstances.
That said, you can still prepare to deal with change and problems without actually know what the problems will be.
It's important to build an organization that is flexible and can adapt to change. I word of caution thought is that some organizations are too quick to react to changes. There is most definitely a balance, and the truly successful business do an excellent job of reaching when necessary but not reacting to false flags.
I would suggest that the best way to establish this is to have a mix of personalities in executive positions. You obviously need to have the visionary types (who are typically more reactive) and you need to have more "down to earth" type people (generally finance or operations people). You also need these people to get accurate information quickly about what is happening on the front line of the business. They cannot make decisions if they are being told what someone thinks they want to hear or if they get the information too late.
Once this executive team gets information they need to work through it together. This does not mean there will always be a consensus, because there won't be, but all sides need to be heard and the chosen direction needs to be at the very least acceptable to all of these parties.
This approach by no means guarantees success, but if you follow it your chances for success are much higher.
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,
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.
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.
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.
This article is an interesting read and you'll find it to be both surprising and straightforward. http://www.rock-solid-business-coach.com/better-business-decisions
You can't foresee consequences and situational changes before making any decision. All you can do is be ready to act when the situation arises. About the best you can do is guess at it, but again just be ready as situations arise.
Google Michael Roberto and take a look at his books and lectures. He's collected a lot of good info. His books are pretty affordable from Amazon. You can also go to http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=5932&ai=69119&cm_mmc=youtube-_-brand-_-video-_-5932 and look at his 24 part lecture series. Decision making is hard work, and the best you should expect is to be able to improve the effectiveness of your decision making. No one is right all the time.