Earlier this week we spoke at the Learning and Performance Institute’s Fellows event. Their topic was Looking Ahead to 2014 which struck a chord with us.
The “Year ahead” preview is a common and natural enough feature in many industries.
It assumes, though, that we can predict with some accuracy what lies in store. As we shall see below it also assumes that we hear and respond to the question accurately as well – not necessarily a safe assumption.
Such an exercise has only limited utility. We cannot predict everything and many of the things we do predict never come to pass. If we commit to certain perception of what lies in store we may blind ourselves to other possibilities.
This is not to say that such exercises are entirely redundant but we need to be able to hold prognoses lightly to avoid become enthralled and beholden to, and blinded by them. We were also interested about what we anticipated would be big in 2013 which never was.
Why might we have assumed wrongly?
And the changes we thought we had predicted 12 months ago, just how well have we implemented them if they came about at all?
What got in the way of progress?
Over the coming weeks we will drill down into several reasons why what we thought we anticipated does not come to pass. Those reasons, if you want a quick overview, can be found on slides 4,5, 8 and 9 on the deck which can be viewed here
To kick us off though, here is a key reason why future gazing becomes warped.
Very often when we are asked
“What changes will happen in 2014?” – or similar, we often hear and are inclined to answer a very different question. We tend to answer this one;
“What do you want the changes to be in 2014?”
The League of Not Knowing is an emergent movement exploring ambiguity and the cult of fake certainty. It tells us that it is alright to not know and explores how individuals, leaders and organisations can remain flexible, strategic and effective in the face of uncertainty.
Neil Denny can be contacted on neildenny@allLD.com for speaking engagements and bookings.