For some of us, the easiest challenge to face may be the crisis. A crisis can be difficult, but it’s extreme and for some of us, facing extreme is easier than dealing with mundane. In a crisis, everything else takes a back seat: keeping up with industry changes, expense reports and emails can all wait. Managing a crisis can be like a temporary "get of jail" pass, nothing is more important than managing that crisis. And often, everyone in your circle is in it together - there's energy in that.
Successfully tackling a crisis can also be gratifying, making for great “war stories” and sometimes even making careers. But what about avoiding crisis? How important is that? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Successfully managing a crisis is critical but failing to manage a crisis is potentially terminal, but if we don't try to see and avoid the challenges (and crisis) ahead, it’s not just bad business, in some cases it’s a breach of duty. Being able to manage a crisis well is amazing skill, it's a must. What about the silent, often un-celebrated skill of see ahead and taking action? What about foresight?
If we did a poll, my guess would be that most of us agree foresight is a skill that we should develop. I'll raise the stakes: foresight is actually a skill that we must develop... that is, if we want to stay on mission and thrive. Effective foresight helps you save time, money, and, at times, lives.
With that in mind, let's explore three simple steps to help us see a challenge coming. For an example, I'll look at foresight through the lens of personal safety, but these steps have a much broader application - from sales to business intel to mitigating external threats to an organization:
To illustrate these steps, I'll offer my personal experience:
All that "work" gives me an idea of where behaviors may be headed. And I say "work" because as you can see, there's nothing extraordinary. The steps aren't actually separate actions. They work together and off of each other leading to foresight - seeing the challenge coming before it becomes a challenge. It’s a simple process or skill, and it can be quite easy.
Distractions, losing sight of your goals, and awareness fatigue are some of the challenges you might face when you’re trying to see challenges come your way.
I started by saying for some of us, the easiest challenge to face may be the crisis. On the flip side, one of the most difficult challenge to face is the aftermath of an avoidable crisis. Knowing you could have done more, or should have, is something many never forget. And, if you do the work to develop the discipline of foresight, it's a challenge you should never have to meet.