and also covering: CHANGE, STABILITY, and PREDICTIONS
The further we look into the future the less certain we can be about it. Thus: (a) There is little point in planning in detail for things which are likely to change. (b) If we undertake activities in the short term that are not required until the long term, we should ensure they are activities which are relevant to a wide range of potential futures.
Take account of uncertainties. Both uncertainty about things you know could happen, and the possibility of things happening which you haven’t even thought about.
Actions we can take in the light of possible unpredictability include: (a) avoiding places/things prone to unpredictability; (b) build in redundancy and spare capacity; (c) be ready to recognise undesirable events occurring and be ready to react before full consequences occur.
It is likely that unlikely things will happen. It’s just probability.
Be wary of mistaking luck for skill.
You can to some extent make your own luck, by: (a) recognising situations that can be taken advantage of, (b) being prepared to take advantage of situations when they arise, (c) trying to do lots of things, so that even a given thing may have a low probability, eventually there is a high probability of something succeeding.
Play the percentages by: choosing options with the greatest rate of return whilst avoiding situations with unacceptable consequences and taking bigger gambles where the costs are low.
Don’t be afraid of uncertainty. It is an opportunity for development and learning, and may be an opportunity for gain.
Change is frequent, and will occur whether you want it to or not. Just because change hasn’t occurred for some time does not mean it won’t occur in the future. Just because we can’t visualise what change might happen doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Change might be small, or it might be catastrophic. Even small changes in something can sometimes cause large or even catastrophic changes in something else.
There is a tendency for complex systems to gradually change and evolve for most of the time, but to have occasional bursts of dramatic change.
There will always be some changes that we cannot predict. However with effort we can improve our ability to predict and this is usually of value.
We should prepare both for those changes we recognise that might occur but also for possible changes we cannot predict.
Do your best to change what you want and can change, and adapt yourself to what you can’t.
In deciding whether or not to change, consider: (a) long term consequences of not changing; (b) the opportunity costs of the change or non-change, ie. what else might you use resources for; (c) possible secondary effects of the change; (d) the likelihoods that benefits of changing/not-changing will actually materialise.
Just because you’ve decided to change or not change does not mean you can’t decide later to change back or do something different. However change usually has a ‘start-up’ cost associated with it before benefits are realised. So don’t change for minor reasons, only major reasons.
You are making decisions about change all the time. Even if you are deciding not to change, or even ‘implicitly’ deciding not to consider the possibility of change.