There are only a few business teams that can pull it off like we did during the ancient space race, and the only guy right now who can get it done like we did (other rivals aside) is Elon Musk. I can't tell you how Mr. Musk does it, but I can tell you how we did it at NASA. As a team, we had to know everything about our business: aerospace engineering and the physics of spaceflight to point a mission in the right direction.
You might say, “I don't need to know everything about my business.” Don't kid yourself. The rate of change coming at all of us means that you better learn how to piece together a plan whether you can tell what the future will be or not. Small business or large, you will need to know how to deal with massive, unforeseen change.
NASA created the future. Sometimes we did it from scratch, sometimes we did it with worn-out satellites. We started by eliminating the obvious paths to failure. We had the training and experience to do that. The next step was to study other possibilities well enough to make choices toward better chances of success. This process accelerated our ability to make better and better choices.
There is no magic way to map out the future without paring back the issues you face to their barest, yet in some useful sense complete, minimum. Making choices helps to make the path easier, not harder, but the choices have to be very smart. They don't have to be completely correct, just well informed. And being well informed is where most business leaders cut the wrong corners.
Optimizing Luck provides the studious leader with the kinds of things to look for as you examine the future for your next business moves, as well as the techniques for guiding your team through what you discover. Ultilmately, your whole team joins you in examining the future for possible paths to success, and then use those discoveries to build the processes leading to success.
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Truth be told, one of the big reasons the rank and file American is having a hard time these days is because the people they work for should be reading and using Optimizing Luck above, but aren't. All right. Just because the bosses of the world can't figure out how to handle change doesn't mean you have to suffer. You can learn how to handle life when big things change around you. It's rarely fun and it's never easy, but it can be done.
Right now, I have close friends who are out of work because the US Federal Government is shut down. My friends aren't allowed to work. What are the responses? Some are sitting tight and waiting it out. Some are worrying. A small group is out looking for work to bring in at least the minimal amount to pay the bills.
Your situation might not be as bad. It could be a whole lot worse. Maybe...it's just a whole lot more confusing.
Regardless of what's going on in your life, there are simple steps you can take to organize your thoughts, and then organize your next actions. In many cases just taking simple steps makes things seem a little less threatening. Sometimes, the simple steps actually make the situation less threatening. There's no magic here. You have to do your work. But Facing Challenges can help you piece your work together so you can build the needed confidence to succeed!
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Study the present very carefully
to build possible versions of the future.
Generate strategic options
based on those possible futures.
Work quickly to create long lead times,
and watch events carefully to select the best options.