In these days of uncertainly and unpredictability, have you and your business planned for the What If factor?
It has long been good practice within any industry to carry out stringent research and audience opinion before taking a new product to market. And yet, even in today’s complex, volatile world, people still assume they know better.
We recently hosted a lunch for our founding members where Brigit Egan, a director of Oakridge, gave an exceptionally interesting and thought-provoking presentation around the subject of VUCA.
VUCA is an acronym – Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity – a concept introduced in the early 90s by the US Army War College to refer to the multilateral world that emerged after the end of the Cold War and was characterised as being more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous than ever before.
The VUCA environment means that we must focus on what is possible (because anything can happen) rather than on what is likely to occur (which is determined by what happened before).
This has been perfectly demonstrated in past months, both within and outside the political arena. Who else assumed Brexit was a new word that wouldn’t disappear as quickly as it had been created? Did you also assume that Trump would come and go in a puff of orange smoke? Wrong! Last year the Conservatives stormed into No.10. And yes, Theresa May never believed that Jeremy Corbyn would wear a crown of roses and she would be left ‘hung’.
We here at Marketing Stockport remain politically neutral, but it is interesting to note that, despite the election result, it appears that as far back as 2015, the Conservatives had been planning for that ‘What If’ moment and were already in talks with the DUP.
Away from the political arena, unfortunately we are not always in control of our own destiny; external influences often cannot be controlled. Just a few weeks ago the NHS was in meltdown following a Cyber / Ransomware attack. Emergency planning is a must for all businesses, irrespective of size, location and sector. Have you got your plan in place?
Brigit explained how life can change in an instant so why are companies still focussed on a 5 year plan? By all means have longer-term aims, ambitions and targets but be flexible and nimble enough to change – focus on what is possible for the next 100 days.
The connected world means news travels faster, markets react quicker and trading can be effected almost immediately.
Do you have a ‘what if’ plan?
Author: Helen White