How's the weather?
Like you perhaps I sometimes check the weather forecast. Which is, considering the amount of time I spend indoors or in a car, sort of funny. I mean it doesn't matter that much.
In the past I've been involved in several different agricultural businesses. Believe me, I paid a lot more attention to the weather then and decisions affecting hundreds of people's daily efforts were based on rain and wind and so forth.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: ag is a tough business.
But I'm not in that field any longer. I migrated over, seemingly without realizing it, to a virtual world for the most part. Although I show up in an office most days, the majority of my work in done at home or elsewhere. As a creative I find the dark noise of the office unproductive – to think, and write and plan, I need quiet.
Knowing my body's clock, I don't fight the urge to wake at 2 or 3 in the morning and write. It's what I do.
I never forecasted blogging and tweeting and using other #SoMe platforms as much as I do. But I love connection. I love one to one conversation with friends around the world, and the connectedness of the 21st century ensures someone is up somewhere no matter the time, and I maintain relationships one couldn't imagine years ago.
People now seek out my opinion on skill, structure and systems – the core of OD – in ways I didn't imagine as I was starting out. Early in my career I worked as hard as I could to gain knowledge and experience – often by trial and error – to build up enough credibility to advise others and take part in solving problems. And then one day that just happened.
I didn't know who Michael Dell was before I stepped on board that rocket ship and had the best eight years of my professional life doing things no one could predict. Jumping to Apple afterwards to help re-launch Education, and then to the The Home Depot for its first greenfield tech center were also ideas I'd never formulated. They were simply great opportunities and they remain great companies.
The point is this: forecasts are nice, but the relationship between accuracy and time is highly correlated. There's a good chance today's forecast will be right, and tomorrow's largely so. But with every successive day the reliability of the forecast decreases. There is a point at which it is simply idle guessing.
What will the weather be on 18 June this year? I don't know. Where will I be working? I can't say with certainty. Will I be alive? I hope so, I'm not done yet.
So how do we prepare for weather and professional life unknown? We stay nimble, we stay engaged, we stay open. Open to what comes and making the best of it.
Last week's frigid snap kept me indoors – surrounded and immersed in books I'd been wanting to read. Today's balmy weather means a few more plants in the winter garden, raking the lawn (again), cleaning out the tool shed and a bike ride perhaps. I'm flexible.
In career I talk with every recruiter who calls me. Reach out to me for a speaking event? I'll almost always do it. Just need some one-one coaching over the phone or a cuppa? I'll do whatever I can. Because it keeps me open. It keeps me meeting new people, making new connections, seeing the same old paradigms in a new way.
What's the forecast? Curiosity filled with excitement.
Enjoy your week my friends.