We were on our way to a meeting when an unusual sign caught our eyes (see photo). If you were the driver of a bus, would you turn left or drive straight ahead? Or would you respond in some other way?
This is a great message for every leader about the need to think flexibly when the signs aren’t clear.
The fact is, no matter where you are located and whether or not you believe the economy is going well, the signs are… ambiguous. We all need to deal with uncertainty from changing global agreements, tariffs, trade wars, and more.
At the same time, we need to take into account how these issues may differently impact our markets, customers, employees, strategic partners, vendors, and other stakeholders. Under these circumstances, what does it take to make smarter decisions and be ready to take detours into uncharted territory?
While all of this ambiguity can lead to challenges, it can also lead to new opportunities – if you know where to look for them. We’ve found that the key is for teams to think beyond choosing between traditional options of “left turns” or “right turns” when deciding how to adjust to ambiguous conditions. It’s to concurrently look to areas not directly related to your current direction to discover options that change the game and add new value.
For instance, we recently spoke with Celeste Ford, Founder and CEO of Stellar Solutions, a global provider of systems engineering, integration, and program management expertise in government and commercial programs related to the aerospace field. She told us how she leads her award-winning company by being very mindful of what she calls “situational awareness.” This has resulted in Stellar Solutions being able to sustain excellence in their core business while they “shoot for the stars” for the future.
Listen to our conversation with Celeste Ford on Growth Igniters® Radio by clicking on the link to Episode 142: “CEO Lessons from a Malcolm Baldrige Award Winner.”