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Attention All Hands: Go To Battle Stations To Prepare For Trend Shifts

Apr 3, 2008
Throughout the cold war, United States forces were constantly ready to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. Fortunately, there was never a real need to do so.

However, the threat of such an attack wouldn't have been a very useful deterrent to a nuclear war if the forces weren't actually able to deliver. Using constant training and exercises to go partially into attack mode kept the forces at the appropriate state of readiness.

Although those exercises were never needed, they served an added purpose: They helped leaders to see what corrections needed to be made to perform better as a unit. As a result, the risk of accidentally starting a nuclear war was reduced.

The U.S. took this one step further before invading Iraq in 2003: War games were held in the California desert to simulate what the weather and Iraqi forces could do to offset a U.S. attack. From these simulations, war plans were improved so that fewer lives would be lost in the initial battles.

Today, we can see that it might have been even more valuable to have been running simulations of what would happen after the major battles were over. Perhaps the continuing civil war of the last five years would have been moderated and a more stable government put into place.

Similarly, your business or organization can use drills to improve its readiness for adapting to changes in irresistible forces so that you exceed future best practices in that area. A good time to conduct such drills is before an irresistible force has actually shifted, but when you expect that it might shift.

One good way to do this is to find a limited geographical area where the irresistible force shift has already started to occur and to implement your adaptation approach in that locale.

This activity will also give you a chance to shake out the bugs in your approach so that when the whole organization has to make the overall change, it can do so in more effectively.

As an example, many companies and communities did just this during their Y2K planning by moving dates forward in computers past the year 2000 in isolated installations to see what would happen. This simulation helped them anticipate many problems that would otherwise not have occurred until months or years later.

What simulations should you be running now?

What about assuming that the current fragile economic conditions get a lot worse due to a greater lock-out in access to credit?
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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