“You might strategize with certainty – but you should structure for surprise!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
All around me I see people preparing for where they are going to be 3 to 6 months from now. They are making assumptions, presuming certainty, deciding realities.
Things might not work out as they expect.
The future has become a funny thing – we can have more clarity on our long-term future, driven by the inviolability of certain trends – but we can do a miserable job in figuring out where we might be in the short term. That’s because uncertainty, driven by the twists and turns of ambiguous clarity, is now the only certainty we can count on.
Let me repeat that – uncertainty is the new certainty.
Predicting what comes next in the short term has become a fool’s errand. I can certainly tell you where will be in 2025 or 2030 and the world we will find ourselves in – but 3 to 6 months? That’s a stretch!
Long-term? We know that 10 years out, much of the automotive world will be based on electric vehicle technology and batteries; healthcare will be driven by connected medical devices; a lot of infrastructure will be intelligent, and oil and carbon will be even more of a sunset industry than it is today. These trends are clear and certain.
But short-term? Going back to work? Events happen in conference centers? Restaurants are open everywhere? Masks are gone? The disease is vanquished? Herd immunity is achieved? Have a plan – because you might otherwise die on the hill of your false assumptions.
Stock markets will be rocking 6 months from now? Here’s a thing – right now, I’m sensing the same disquieting signals I was feeling through the end of 2007 into 2008. Little bubbles of worry, which eventually cascaded into the spectacular collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Have a plan!
Nothing is certain. Everything is unknown. Have you not been listening to the phrase I’ve been repeating ad nauseam since this crisis began – “volatility is the new normal.’
Be careful what you wish for – because, it might not happen!