When I was a kid my mother and a group of friends would go on road trips to visit clairvoyants in other towns. Being young, I would have to tag along sometimes and so I recall these travelling wizards of future telling would be set up in motel rooms. Mum and her friends would all have their booking slots and slide in and out to have their futures ‘read’.
While these memories from my early years were a distant memory, it all came flooding back this week. I am reading a new biography on a local business personality that I have followed with interest over the years. In its pages it was revealed that he would visit clairvoyants when faced with difficult or overwhelming decisions in business. I was flabbergasted that an astute business person would rely on such hocus pocus when dealing with critical matters! But, as these profound moments tend to do, I found myself trying to unpick and understand the context better.
We are all faced with uncertainty, especially at the moment, and naturally we would all like the fog lifted and some nice precise directions on what happens next so we can line all of our little ducklings up and slam dunk the next week, month, year or decade. While we all accept that will never happen, we diligent invoke our preferred method of assessing the likely futures that await us, pick one or two to plan for and then trundle off hoping for the best. While some may use methods that others find bizarre or ridiculous, we are all human and do what we need to do to help us navigate life’s uncertain pathways.
In a business context, I personally operate a more mundane method for trying to furnish the Jenkins team with as much clarity around possible futures in our industry as possible. Reading (as much as possible), listening (to pod casts, webinars, speakers), watching (anything web based) and talking (to customers, suppliers, industry bodies and government agencies). We can then triangulate a plethora of information sources to arrive at a likely direction. We pride ourselves on being close to the action and well informed and this bodes very well for us and our customers when making important decisions that have impacts over several years.
While a clairvoyant would be much easier, I think we will stick with our current method. If it ain’t broken…