Positive Quote: “In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future, then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.” – Edward de Bono
I know that I cannot predict the future. I can make assumptions based on information I have, however, true prediction, no, I cannot do that.
This quote reminds me to have a plan b or even a plan c available. Flexibility and the ability to be nimble can have more value that rigidity with a believe that the future will pan out one way versus another.
For example: Imagine a scenario where a manager believes that the volumes of a certain widget will increase and based on that assumption makes a decision to build a new manufacturing plant. However, 2 years later the widget volumes are stagnant,. However, this manager continues to move forward with the new plant. 5 years down the road and the new plant is operational with double or even triple the staff, yet the widget volumes continue to be flat. At this point there is not much this manager can be flexible with, in order to maintain without folding. If this manager had been flexible with possible futures, it would have been a different outcome and a different future.
Another example: Imagine a scenario where a hiring manager has a top pick for a candidate, however others who have interviewed this candidate were not as impressed and had hesitations. Imagine that manager believing they saw something others did not and the candidate is a good fit for the position, they get hired. Fast forward and this new hire is not fitting into the company culture, the overall team morale is being negatively impacted. Before the manager is able to recognize, coach, and counsel half the team has either quit or is working at a disengaged level. If this manager had been more flexible, they would have sought specifics from the other interviews, valued the feedback, and perhaps done a second round of interviews and perhaps, perhaps made a different decision leading to a different outcome and a different future.
I know that not all poor decisions can be avoided, just as I know that not all poor hiring decisions can be caught in the initial rounds of the interview process. However, I am a firm believer in that one can be flexible in being open to multiple methods of remediation and that this by itself may increase the possibilities of success.
What do you think of this quote?
Have a marvelous Monday.