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Graham, March 15 2022

It's Happening Again

- Great Uncertainty needs Exceptional Strategic Thinking -

This war is creating LOTS of uncertainty, and in times of uncertainty, some good strategic thinking is the order of the day.  I have written before about the effects of uncertainty (Insidious Uncertainty); we humans, and I include business owners in that, really dislike uncertainty. When faced with situations like this, our brains go into overdrive with a process called patterning.  In patterning, we are looking at the world around us, we’re trying to make sense of what we see, we use our personal mental models of the world that we have developed through our lives so far to help us recognise, to understand, and to predict what will happen next.  

That is fine, when things are only a little different, but when we are faced with a wide range of possible outcomes or even true grand-scale uncertainty where we are in uncharted territory, then we are on increasingly shaky ground.   Oh, and we also have a raft of cognitive biases (supposedly helpful auto-routines) operating in our subconscious minds that are impacting our judgements and decision making. 

Keep Thinking Strategically.   Strategy is all about achieving goals within the constraints and available resources; businesses are now finding that they are having to operate within more constraints, and while contending with diminishing available resources. In such circumstances, it is very easy to become increasingly focused on the here and now.  

And so, it is now more important than ever to keep an eye on the goal, that vision of some point in the future that you want to create. Of course, you have a few more obstacles getting in your way that need your immediate attention, and you may need to find another route.  You might also find new opportunities or a better path along the way.  

But keep that goal firmly in your mind’s eye

Opportunity.  And here is one opportunity this great uncertainty is creating: strategic thinking is a great team activity - a team's breadth of experience helps navigate uncertainty, the team's multiple perspectives and ways of thinking help overcome the individual cognitive biases.  And a shared goal helps keep the goal alive when things get tough.

Onward ....



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