Business leaders and industry organisations tend to overestimate the risk and underestimate the potential of innovating. They lose perspective.
It’s easy to forget that we’re all living in a thin biosphere 20 kilometres deep on a planet spinning at over 1500 kilometres per hour and moving at 30 kilometres per second around an exploding star.
Some years ago, I got to know a senior person in the military and had the opportunity to discuss strategy with him over coffee.
I was enthused about these conversations, because the concept of strategy was forged in the military and I’d read books like The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Clausewitz on Strategy and so on.
I quickly learnt that people under his command had died on active duty overseas.
Further, the published military articles he shared with me on strategy spoke of losses in terms of death and casualties.
It changed my perspective on business strategy and value for money.
Outside of the military and emergency services, strategic and operational decisions are rarely a matter of life and death. Still, we perceive that the stakes are higher than they really are.
If you try to innovate and it doesn’t work out, you can always rebuild the organisation, find a new client or member, develop a new product or service, raise more capital, move to another city or find a new job.
You learn and life goes on.
The stakes are infinitely higher for those in the defence forces and the police, fire and hospital workers. Remember that their value will always exceed anything any of us could ever afford to pay.