This is the famous quote by Rahm Emanuel, now mayor or Chicago and before Chief of Staff of Barack Obama: ‘You never let a crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before’.
He was referring to the economic conditions of the day. Today we have a few things upside down, a few ‘small local difficulties’ as my Brit friends would put it. The unexpected and unpredicted have once again knocked at the door. No need to repeat the word Brexit. No need to repeat the word Trumpism and the Post Truth (AKA lies) era.
‘An opportunity to do things you think you could not do before’ is not just a wonderful line, it is a whole Strategic Plan.
What if the company could change gears and think the unthinkable? After all, we would be in good company of other unthinkable things…
What if we scrapped all traditional ‘leadership development programmes’ and we started form scratch?
What if we did challenge ourselves to stop managing the inevitable and focus all our energies on the apparently implausible?
I will end the year with optimism … if we focus on ‘making it happen’. ‘It’ being all those good things that the organization can achieve, the enterprise can produce, the public sphere could accomplish. Let’s make ‘it’ happen.
The enemy has a name: Passivity. Meaning, assume history is already written (read the way we do business, political directions, world change). If involvement and engagement have always been the key to ‘agency’, our ability to take charge, as opposed to have our destiny controlled, now it’s the time for a big hi-fi of that. Let’s be agents, nor receivers. Let’s start within the organization.
If deep in you you think that Brexit is Brexit, Trump is Trump and all the laws of the firm are written, we’d better go fishing for a while, or a sabbatical in Mars, until the inmates stop running the asylum. But, go and tell the children that we are doing that. Have the guts to write in your legacy: we did nothing. We kept calm and carried on. Not a good idea.
If this is the Era of The Unpredicted, we’d better get unpredictability skills.
Let me share my thoughts about those and ‘state of readiness’ tomorrow
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