Visualize disaster and opportunity
World cup ski racers, Formula 1 drivers, professional wrestlers, and astronauts all share one incredibly powerful tool: visualization. I spent a decade as a ski racer, a sport where 70 mph speed and icy inclines force action and reaction to coexist.
Picture yourself tearing down a mountain at a blood-curdling speed. You carve your razor-sharp skis from gate to gate, hoping to best your rivals by fractions of a second. The incline lures you faster and the world around you starts to blur. Your heart pounds. You cut each corner recklessly close, pushing the limits of personal safety. At this speed, a crash would send you tumbling past your dreams. But you only get one shot, and you’re fully committed.
At some point, you will be thrown off balance. You are moving too fast to act with reverent caution. But when the unexpected happens, you’ll know how to navigate because you’ve raced this exact track a dozen times in your head. You’ve thought about every corner, every bump, and every hairpin turn. You’ve visually rehearsed your reaction to every possible scenario. In ski racing, visualization is not optional. It trains the human mind to react during unexpected situations.
A striking parallel exists between ski racing and innovating through chaos. In both situations, you navigate an unfamiliar course at uncomfortable speed. You’ll make some mistakes, but how you react will make all the difference.
Chaos yields both risk and opportunity at the least convenient times.
Projects will unexpectedly fall apart.
People will quit when you need them most.
Superstars will be available when you cannot hire.
Competitors will falter.
New customers will become available.
How will you react to the urgent demands that prevail during both disaster and opportunity? How will you deal with sudden changes to customer needs?
Teams that rehearse their reaction to the unexpected will be more likely to navigate through the course of uncertainty.
The above excerpt was from Jeremy Gutsche's book:
EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.
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