Water Runs Downhill

Posted by Tom LarsenJul 16, 2014 Marketing, Operations, Organization, Planning, Product Development 0 Comment

We all know that water runs downhill. We learned it maybe even before we were in school. We also know that water on earth is at the heart of life.

Now look at your business and where you are working really hard and making little progress and ask yourself how many different ways are you trying to make water go uphill. What process, project or issue are you struggling with right now, that if only you removed the dam or changed the waterway, would flow like the Amazon River.

Now, imagine extending that effort into relieving not just the obstacle directly in front of you, but, the ones further down that waterway channel as well. That process is at the core of forethought. As the executive of your business, it desperately needs you to be able to look down river, anticipate impediments and find or create the right waterway channels for your business to become broad and deep.


As you confront the daily challenges of working at your business, put as much time as possible into looking at every situation and extending it down the channel a few miles and see what outcomes you can envision. Make darn sure you love those outcomes, because once you send the first drops of water down the waterway, they go exactly where water does, downstream.

To really progress, make notes in some way about what you expect. Looking back at those notes regularly will tell you everything about how you are doing in ways that a P&L or a Balance sheet cannot. In your business, you are Lewis and Clark with far, far more tools than they had crossing the U.S. on rivers 200 years ago. Yet, they took copious notes we still refer to today about conditions then. The future of your business depends on it.

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