Solving big problems: How to look ahead

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looking ahead

These are challenging (but great) times. In a wold of fear, terrorism, economic disruption and dislocation, the signs of things working right appear muted — but if you look more closely, you’ll see how most of the people in the world are much better off than they were a decade and certainly 50 years ago.

Yet I cannot lie about the disconnect I feel now as I grapple with the probable impending need for major business changes. The “same old, same old” is faltering and while I could elect to bury my head in the sand for a while and avoid some hard decisions, ultimately I’ll need to make them soon, unless there is significant additional information to change the story.

Then I hear stories, of personal failure, and triumph. You can’t always see what is happening in your neighbours’ homes — let alone in other communities or around the world. Sometimes simmering problems burst into public consciousness; in others we overhear the stories, and there are situations where friends confide in us — perhaps hoping we can provide them a lifeline of advice or problem-solving capacities.

I’ve learned to handle troubling times with a combination of healthy anxiety and calm. The contradiction may appear strange, but you need some discomfort to get the adrenaline going and think creatively. You also need the calm, to avoid panic, to be deliberate, and to let the story end where it should.

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