What Can You Control

22 years ago businesses prepared for a worst case scenario; outdated computer software freezing, leading to a power grid failure precisely at 12:00 am Jan 1, 2000.

Experts told us outdated computer software would reset to Jan 1, 1900, instead of Jan 1, 2000. Electric grids would shut down, old computers would freeze, transportation would be stuck in gridlock ... our modern world would stop.

Companies of all sizes updated their computer systems and processes. I was leading The Eldred Company during this period. We replaced a 14 year-old HP mini-computer that ran UNIX software with new ERP software. We also updated our WordPerfect & Lotus software and PCs.

12:00 am Jan 1, 2000 arrived. No power failure! No computers freezing! The positive unintended consequences were the new systems and processes put in place at Eldred and other businesses increased productivity.

Locally & globally our world is changing at a greater and greater velocity.

Today, technology is everywhere, changing how we work and play. The environment is changing. La Niña has been disturbing our weather patterns creating a drier West and floods in the East. The war in Ukraine has disrupted wheat distribution to third world countries and natural gas supplies to Europe. Rising interest rates are resetting the hot housing market. COVID-19 outbreaks in China are creating empty shelves in Walmart. Former college students are receiving partial loan forgiveness.

These are external risks/opportunities, things we cannot control.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” -Henry Ford

What can a leader control? Internally, leaders have control within the organization. Leaders must consider external change and its impact on the mission. How does it impact us today? What will it look like tomorrow?

How does change impact your areas of leadership, staff development, cultural health, finances, communication, systems and processes? We can ignore change.

Ask, how it impacts the future of our mission?

Strategic planning is necessary precisely because we cannot forecast…

Strategic planning does not deal with future decisions. It deals with the futurity of present decisions. The question that faces the strategic decision maker is not what the organization should do tomorrow.

It is “What do we have to do today to be ready for tomorrow?”

- Peter Drucker

What do you have to do today to be ready for tomorrow?

If you don’t know where to begin, start by building a healthy, aligned leadership team.


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