It's Hard to Predict Things, Especially the Future

John Fisher,   Board Member

John Fisher,

Board Member

Many of you may recognize the quote from Yogi Berra. Many of his famous quotes are malapropisms, but this one is very insightful. Many people try to predict the future, and many people find it's harder than they think. 

I recently heard an episode of "The Leadership Podcast" (Thanks Jim & Jan), which featured predictions from Thomas Frey, the Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute. In many ways, his predictions were more common sense than new ideas. For example, he encouraged leaders to surround themselves with smart people, so they can learn from them, and he also said the important skills learned as a leader come from experience, not textbooks. This bring up another quote from Yogi, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." 

The one piece of advice that we should all take to heart is that future leaders need to be flexible, adaptable and open to learning new things at a very rapid pace. This is not only good advice, but it reminds us of the value diversity brings to teams. If we are to survive the future, we need to embrace diversity because without it we will struggle with innovation and change. Diversity encourages the search for new information, new perspectives and gives us the ability to make better decisions. Talking with the same kind of people about the same problems is like Einstein's definition of insanity, but if we embrace diversity in thought, experience, culture, gender and ethnicity we have a much better chance of being open to new ideas and achieving those breakthrough innovations that will help us succeed in an uncertain future. 

One great way to experience diversity (in practice rather than theory) is to get out and do something different. On Wednesday, SIM provided an opportunity for a group of us to spend the evening packing meals for those less fortunate than ourselves at the Feed My Starving Children facility in Schaumburg. If you haven't participated, I encourage you to do so. You get to work with people of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, beliefs and ages. People with different backgrounds who all share a common goal of helping people in need. It is always a wonderful and a fun experience and just one of the many advantages of being a SIM member. 

If you are interested in participating in more SIM events, please visit our website and sign up for one of the upcoming events. If you are not a SIM member, please consider joining, and if you are a member, you can get a 10% discount by renewing before December 31st just use the promo code EB19.