We spend most of our time teaching people how to work differently, adapt, innovate and evolve their businesses; but we also always want you to ask yourself why. Today’s lesson comes from Scott Adams from the frighteningly realistic Dilbert comics. As an aside, I recall Scott talking early on as he wrote the comic about how no matter how outrageous he tried to make it, he always had readers emailing him to say “my company is just like that”. Now he just uses fan emails and true stories as his inspiration.
5 year plans
Five year plans are a great thing for a leadership team to do. You take your best and brightest away somewhere nice with an inspiring view, you talk, strategise, plan and argue late into the night. There is a great sense of security in having a detailed map to steer your ship. It feels good with all the ideas and debate coming together to give your board, teams and shareholders certainty about the future.
There is just one problem … plans are only guesses. To all the readers who committed to 5 year plans in 2006, can you please dig them out and let us know how your strategy to handle the introduction of the iPhone, the iPad, and 800 million consumers using a walled garden called Facebook as their primary online experience has played out.
Stop trying to guess what the future will be and instead accept the uncertainty is the only thing which is certain. Make your best guesses, adopt ways of working which are flexible as you learn new things and focus on solving the problems you know about and can understand, instead of dreaming about flying cars.