Andrew Penny, June 20 2023

The Problem with Echo Chambers

Does six feet in Panama really matter?

The Chagres River feeds 2 billion gallons of fresh water each day into the 82km Panama Canal to move the immense cargo ships through the channel. The canal carries about 6% of the worlds trade. It’s forecast that a 6-foot drop in its water levels is likely by the end of July. This means that the vessels can only carry 60% of a full load and sail more slowly. Combined, this results in roughly a 50% reduction in tonnage carried.  This is a big deal for all of us. Remember when the Ever Given was stuck sideways in the Suez Canal for just 6 days? 

This is just one example of how seemingly remote events have can a huge impact on our lives and our businesses. 

We are inundated with input every day; the question is what do you pay attention to?

Too often we get our information from our own echo chambers – Linked in, business groups, clients, suppliers and so on. We seldom get input from outside our circle. When we do look outside – to what should we pay attention? 

Always use your strategic direction as the lens to filter the data so that you can evaluate the millions of facts affecting our path such as the drought in Panama’s Chagres river region. Does a halving of the throughput in the Panama canal affect you?  If so, is it an opportunity or a threat? How do you step outside your echo chamber?

 …so, how might the Chagres river drought affect you? Threat or opportunity?  

Talk soon, 


Written by

Andrew Penny


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