People and businesses die every day. What signals are you ignoring?

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Things change.

Some things that change come as a surprise.

Lots shouldn’t.

People die every day. If you look at the data, there is absolutely no chance that nobody you know will die. It will happen to somebody close to you, often sooner than you expect.

When my colleague suddenly lost his son in a road traffic accident, I didn’t get close enough to him to learn anything about grief. I stayed out of it: it was painful to watch, awkward to be around and it went on for bloody ages. I couldn’t begin to imagine his pain. He couldn’t begin to describe it. Our perspectives were far apart and neither of us was able to close the gap. Lesson missed.

When another colleague described the effects of her daughter having epileptic seizures, my response was to get the hell out, again. I cared, but not that much, not really. I had a report to write and a target to hit. My experience of epilepsy was non-existent and my empathy for her situation was too. Lesson missed.

The probability that you and I will develop epilepsy is 10% in the UK, so it’s unlikely that you won’t come into contact with the condition. “Epilepsy can start at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed in people under 20 and people over 65.” So the chance that you or I will have a seizure is higher as we get older. Have we got a plan for this? I don’t. It isn’t the only disease we may develop, after all.

When my daughter had her first seizure, it came out of the blue. But looking at the stats, why was that? When she died (a while ago now), as a result of epilepsy (a thing called SUDEP), the shock was absolute. Neither the stats, nor the signals that a seizure might result in death, prepared me for the outcome. But both the signals and the stats were there. The probability was predicted. All the tools and data I needed to prepare for that eventuality were available to me, even the primary research data from previous case studies that I had early access to, and decided to ignore.

This may strike you as a bit of a leap

This may strike you as a bit of a leap but, in terms of business, a similar situation exists. There is a strong inclination to ignore the foreseeable.

Things change.

Some things that change come as a surprise.

Lots shouldn’t.

Have you got a business plan you can describe beyond the next twelve months?

Asking hard questions and facing up to the honest answers is not a comfortable thing to do. When the probability of failure looks high, there are two responses: get the hell out, or learn from the data and find a new way.

Here’s where it’s helpful to get expert help. You don’t have to live every scenario to learn from them, but you do have to be open to change. Let me ask you three questions and, when we’re done, you’ll have some tangible options to consider.

Clicking here will get you started.

Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.