Foodie Friday Fun begins with a look out the window as Winter Storm Nemo approaches. That arrival seems to have spurred a rush to the supermarket by everyone in our town, at least according to my sister who found mostly bare shelves when she went this morning. I suppose we could talk today about what one can prepare when there might not be electricity to operate an oven, microwave or many stoves. We have a gas range but without electricity there is no range hood so we have to be careful about what we make. But that’s not really the food subject today.
Making sure that there’s ample food, water, and batteries is becoming a regular event in our area as we’ve been hit by massive storms a few times over the last two years. The accuracy with which these events have been predicted, even down to the time when the storms arrive and depart, is pretty amazing. What the forecasters can’t predict, however, is which trees will cause a power problem or block access to roads. Even with much better tools, there are big uncertainties that will affect our specific situation. That’s today’s business point.
The hardest part of your job as a leader to see over the horizon. The next hardest part is convincing others that what you’re seeing is right and to take the appropriate action based on your forecast. How angry would you be if you bought gallons of water and lots of food only to find out that the blizzard was a couple of inches of snow? How dangerous is it when they predict a dusting of snow and you wake up to eighteen inches of heavy, wet slush? Being able to assemble the known information into a cogent prediction of the future is a skill that comes only with time and experience (easy to say coming from an older guy, I know). Take our friend Nemo, here. There are a dozen computer models that disagreed a day or two ago about the storm’s impact. A few even do so today. Which of the models you choose to believe can have an impact, especially if you’re the person deciding to call in plow drivers or buy salt for the roads.
I think if I could wish for one thing in business it would be tomorrow’s newspaper. I’d then have a perfect look over the horizon, at least for a day. For now all we can do is to try to find the Nemos that will impact our business lives that are lurking out there. Then we need to get to the store and make sure our team is prepared to hunker down and ride it out.
Now, where did I put the spare batteries?