What’s for Dinner

Managers must be careful about overestimating what they know. They must be equally cautious in underestimating the risk of what they don’t know.

There once was a chicken that roamed the palace. A friendly retainer fed it daily. Over time, the chicken came to trust that the servant would attend to it and look after its needs. For many weeks the chicken enjoyed its free ranging life, its hearty meals, and felt a growing sense of security. Then on the evening before the great festival, something unexpected happened to the chicken.

Managers must not believe that data, experts, and their own knowledge are capable of protecting them from all the uncertainties of tomorrow.

What if everything that worked in the past suddenly does not work at all? What happens then?

The wise manager acknowledges knowing that they don’t know. For this is the first step to true knowledge. Moreover, to do otherwise is arrogant and can be catastrophic.

Accepting the fluidity of the business environment, they can stop pretending, embrace strategic flexibility, and seek harmony in the chaos.