Preparing for the unexpected

As the saying goes - forewarned is forearmed.

Having risk and issue mitigation plans is good for concrete and challenging situations. However, there are subtle situations that cannot be captured in any form of documentation. In order to respond effectively to the crucially challenging scenarios - the intricacies of human interactions based on the team's personality need serious attention.

When things are running smoothly - the team can play it forward by role playing the potentially conflicting and likely behaviours. In this way, when the unexpected actually arrives at your team's door - it is well prepared and has experience of using the right tactics.

Trying to predict the future is debatable. An alternative approach is to be prepared to respond by giving value to the soft skills. A simple framework is to 'Stop', 'Explore' and 'Respond'.

Stop: Don't fall into the trap of hasty decisions. The lean principle of 'Decide as late as possible' holds true as long as this very decision is based on values and principles. This delay sometimes is the perfect opportunity to stop and think before acting.

Explore: Blaming the perfect storm is one of the easiest escape goats in blame culture. Think about synergy and best outcome in a given situation, the hidden information, empathise with positivity, and give fair consideration to the potential constraints. Then lay out your options.

Respond: Make an honest decision based on principles and values rather than allowing your hard-wired decision making to push you into a specific direction. Make a decision and commit. Even if the decision isn't ideal, accept that it's the best under the given circumstances.

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