Look Back?Posted: November 16, 2016
November 16, 2016
One of the common, and key, mantras of CI is that it is forward-looking. You have almost certainly been told, at least once, that CI is not a rear-view mirror, looking at what is behind you and your firm. Rather it is something that should be used to anticipate what is coming and provide support for decisions to deal with coming events and trends.
Yes, that is true, but that is not always the case. Sorry.
A character in a novel I recently read, The Power Broker (Stephen Frey), made this point rather well.
“Everything happened for a reason, and it was always best to know what that reason was. Having information, knowing why something happened – whether it was good or bad for you – was the key to success.” (p. 110)
Keeping this in mind, we should use CI during our annual reviews, which should accompany our strategic planning activities. You are doing that kind of review, right? When looking back on the previous year (or even previous quarter), we should be checking off the successes we had and the failures we suffered. But, don’t just assume that you succeeded because of a great plan and failed because, well, stuff happened. Life is not like that.
We need to do more – use CI to find out why things went poorly as well as why they went well. Knowing that is critical to developing and executing effective plans going forward.