Early Warning Signs

By Doug Brown

Early Warning Signs

Peering forward into 2022. It may be the most challenging role for all organizational leaders.

Over the years, I've written many articles about the benefits of strategic thinking. I discussed that change in the business environment is inevitable. You will probably agree with this sentiment. Progress results in more change, usually leading to further progress.

I don't often write about awareness and recognition of early warning signs.

Since this is winter in the northeastern US, temperature fluctuations around the freezing mark are common. Any standing water goes through its natural freezing and thawing cycle.

There is a phenomenon called black ice (or sometimes clear ice)‚ÄĒthe thin coating of glazed ice on a road surface or sidewalk. The ice is not black but visually transparent, allowing the asphalt road below to appear. Often, it is almost but not totally invisible. It can be treacherous to drive or walk on - especially if you are surprised.

One key to handling this condition is consciously increasing our awareness and paying more attention to detail. Black ice usually gives us clues and indications that it is present. At night, for example, our headlights shine differently, and the bumpers of cars ahead of us seem to reflect on the road surface. As soon as we spot the signs, we can immediately execute a safer driving style.

Where are the examples of early warning signs or precursory symptoms in your industry?

We don't have to predict the future-just better prepare to look for it.