Jumping to conclusions in a time of change

In a churning world, things increasingly don’t work the way they used to. And if we jump to conclusions in a churning world then we are assuming that the world still works the way it once did. That is likely to create problems.

These problems aren’t necessarily about whether our predictions turn out to be right or wrong. The problem is that jumping to conclusions makes us lazy. It stops us checking whether we really understand the situation. It stops us preparing for the unexpected. And it stops us taking the extra steps we could have taken to increase our chances of getting the outcomes we want.

Avoiding all this is surprisingly easy. We only need to do four things:

  1. Check whether we are making any of the eight common mis-blinks
  2. Consider what other interpretations might also be possible
  3. Get clearer on the outcome we most want and why
  4. Take actions to manage our downsides and make our upsides more likely to happen

After doing these four things we might still decide to take the same way forward. And something unexpected might still happen. But by thinking through the situation more deeply, by getting clearer on what we really want, and by ensuring that we truly do everything we can: we increase our focus, inspiration, and enthusiasm; we give ourselves us the best chance of achieving the outcomes we seek; and if things still don’t turn out the way we wanted then we give ourselves the maximum flexibility to find a new way forward.

In a time of increasing change all of these things will be invaluable.

They will help to make us antifragile.

Have you ever jumped to a conclusion that turned out to be wrong? What were the consequences? Have you jumped to any conclusions about the projects you are working on now?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By rippchenmitkraut66 via StockPholio.net

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