Thursday, September 4, 2008

Do we really plan ?

In all the years I have been consulting on risk management to clients and teaching to students, one thing of late keeps coming back strongly to me. As a society we are risk takers and our risk tolerant level is surprisingly high.

Consider this. A bike rider goes out every day, without wearing safety helmet thinking that either nothing will happen to him or what is destined to happen will happen irrespective of what he does. How often have we heard this argument that " I will do this some how!!!" - How ?? no one has any idea. We fail to prepare or our preparation is insincere. Even though we have one of the elitist teaching on this - " Nishkama Karma".

Having a high risk tolerance per se may not be bad after all. However, coupled with complacency or indifference it can be very dangerous. A lower risk appetite person will always be on the guard to the extent of being a paranoid. Paranoia increases alertness . On the contrary a complacent person will get careless and invite trouble.

Human mind always believe that all the bad events and miseries that happen around us will not happen to us. Not will it touch us in any way. How untrue !!!! This sense of comfort and complacency can be misleading and result in big loss. But it can also build resilience to bounce back once some thing terrible happens.

We normally plan but once. A corporate project may have back up plan or alternatives, but everyday plans do not have plan B. A plan is not complete unless we also have an alternate plan of action in case things did not go as thought. Working an alternate plan requires intensive thinking and imagination. A first level plan can be made very simple. It is to look at the objectives one need to achieve and the shortest route with least possible resources. But having done that one must go through that plan minutely and try and visualize pitfalls and shortcomings which can surprise during implementation. Unless this exercise is complete and we also have an alternate plan we might fail even if we had a fool proof plan.

One might find during bad days , even alternate plans do not work.. You might need some thing else to succeed. But that's another story.........

No comments: