“Don’t waste a lot of time wishing for what you had – dream instead for what you could have!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Too many people spend too much time looking back and not enough time looking forward.
The result is that they become emotionally tied to what was, instead of motivated by what could be; they become reliant on what worked yesterday instead of developing new skills for what will be necessary tomorrow; they end up repeating the same old mistakes – instead of accelerating their insight by making new ones.
Organizations do the same thing. They build a structure, culture, and leadership style which involves looking back in time to judge what might come next – the thought process being that what happened yesterday will be the best guide to what tomorrow will bring. And so they design accounting and financial systems that use past performance as a guide for the future; insurance risk and actuarial assumptions that use yesterday’s risk factors as a guide to future risk; agricultural systems that use old data to try to identify new trends; demand forecast systems that use purchasing patterns from the past to drive manufacturing systems for production for tomorrow.
In today’s fast-paced and volatile economy, this often does not work – the past is a poor barometer for what tomorrow might bring.
Look forward – not back!
Here’s a clip from a leadership series I ran just before the pandemic hit – valuable insight for volatile times!