Monday, July 23, 2007

Is business getting worse?

Bloomberg says "CEOs See `No Clear Signs' of Crisis as Woes Intensify." Are things really getting worse, even as people put smiles on their faces, as that article seems to indicate?

We obviously won't know for a while. Even if things get worse for some companies, others will likely do okay, and some will thrive (or, if things go well, others will likely do okay, and some will suffer).

To a large degree, the key is being good at responding to what happens, not simply what happens. We get good by being lucky, by thinking clearly, or by having been in this situation before and having learned (or by some combination of those). While I have no help for you in the luck category, there are myriad approaches to thinking clearly, and I've tried to touch on a few in Making Sense With Facilitated Systems.

You might say that there's no way to experience the future before you get there (the third alternative). As Dietrich Dörner and Harald Schaub point out, that's not necessarily the case. Simulation (system dynamics, usually) is a way to explore challenges we might face in the future and to learn which strategies are likely to be more successful.

How are you preparing for the challenges you might face? If you'd like to talk about some of the possibilities, drop me a line.

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