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Are You Ready to Adapt to Irresistible Forces?

Feb 29, 2008
Occasionally a foolish climber will decide to scale some peak solo while traveling light. If the climber is good, this will work just fine as long as the weather holds. If the weather deteriorates, the climber had better to ready to get off the mountain as soon as possible or a disaster may follow.

Are You Ready for This?

Irresistible forces are operating all around you. Some could shift in new directions. You and your enterprise need to be prepared for as many situations as possible. Considering scenarios of difficult, if unlikely, circumstances can help.

Having alternative plans ready to implement at a moment's notice will keep you from foundering and give you a competitive edge. Digital Equipment would have been helped by a scenario that called for personal computers replacing minicomputers. Apple Computer would have learned a lot from a scenario in which companies focused primarily on providing software for all computers, rather than just the ones they manufactured themselves.

What scenarios for "what-if" situations would help your enterprise be better prepared? The key test here is one of significance.

If something could have a large impact, good or bad, you need to study it, unless the likelihood is almost totally nil. Microsoft should consider competition from free software that is provided solely for personal pleasure or self esteem, such as the motivations that originally inspired the Linux operating system

What actions are required in each scenario? Answering this question involves both deciding whether an action is required and then what that action or direction should be. Shell would have gotten no benefit from its Arab oil embargo scenario without having developed some effective ideas for what to do under those circumstances.

Does everyone know what she or he is supposed to do in any given scenario? You should annually check with the people involved to be sure they know their roles in implementing the "what-if" scenarios. This action is particularly important in a rapidly growing company that is adding significantly to its workforce. Some companies have added their own "universities" to share and nurture common values while educating employees in company thinking.

Here's an example of what this kind of thinking can do beyond guarding corporate profits: The Miller Brewing Company often diverts its capacity from making beer to bottling water for communities that temporary have no drinking water (most often following severe storms and floods). The company has long-standing procedures for identifying when and where bottled water is needed, and for getting the water to those communities in a timely and effective way. Naturally, this is a great help to the afflicted and makes everyone at Miller feel good about what they do.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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