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Boards are not surprisingly increasingly concerned about ‘getting it wrong’. Broadly speaking that is a good thing as this focus should protect its stakeholders from disastrous outcomes.
Markets evolve. External influences change over time. People come and go. Strategy gets updated. Processes alter and business models get refined. It’s easy for us all to declare we are comfortable with change, because we think that’s how we should be. But it often strikes me that actually the thing that is hardest to change is the way we think about things: our default position if you like.
Most leaders don’t lapse out of laziness or incompetence. More likely the reason is that increasingly anything that is not “urgent” doesn’t find its way onto their radar. Our observation is that often both learning from the past and anticipating the future are left on the “when I’ve got time pile”. This focus on what is pressing right now makes us think of the expression “nose to the grindstone”. When your nose is to the grindstone, all it can see is the grindstone. That lack of lateral vision can be dangerous for leaders in this complex and fluid world we inhabit.