The Strategy Paradox: Those who are paid to think strategically spend an average of just 90 seconds to 4.5 minutes per day doing so.

map showing that the North Pole has been moving since 1900
Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF

See the red dots in the map ^^ up there? They show that the North Pole is moving.

The Daily Mail reported in Dec. 2019: Earth’s magnetic north is shifting at an ‘unprecedented’ rate of 30 miles a year — throwing satellite positioning data and navigation systems off course.

Can you identify? Have your organization’s market position or strategic direction been thrown off course?

I believe the technical term is “goat rodeo.” {Profanity warning}:

A goat rodeo is a slang term for something going totally, unbelievably, disastrously wrong

In the past month I’ve heard:

  • City staff ask, “Should we do strategic planning or just wait for the next election and start planning with the new crop of council members?”
  • Chamber executives ask, “Does our 2040 plan still resonate, or do we need to re-prioritize…or start from scratch?”
  • Nonprofit leaders ask, “Shouldn’t we focus on fundraising to keep the doors open instead of investing in long range planning?”
  • White leaders say, “I’m afraid to do the wrong thing, but doing nothing also seems like a bad idea.” (It is.)

All of us who call ourselves change-makers or visionaries are trying to beat back today’s goat rodeo so it doesn’t crowd out the long game.

{Cue the inspiring music while I remind you that you’re a pro, not an amateur}

  • Amateurs are addicted to the adrenaline rush of the urgent. Pros deal with emergencies and keep the long view.
  • Amateurs get hooked by the drama of the now. Pros anticipate the story’s long arc and the new partnerships or opportunities that will be needed in the next months and years.
  • Amateurs are firefighters who run into building burnings. Pros are fire marshals, anticipating where the next fires might be, to prevent future casualties.

Breathe. We got this.

Love,
Rebecca

PS: Science nerds will love the Science Alert about the North Pole here.


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Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF

Rebecca Ryan captains the ship. Trained as a futurist and an economist, Rebecca helps clients see what's coming - as a keynote speaker, a Futures Lab facilitator, an author of books, blogs and articles, a client advisor, and the founder of Futurist Camp. Check out her blog or contact Lisa Loniello for more information.

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