Master the unexpected

No doubt you have heard about Murphy's Law. "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" or anything in the same tenor. It has a very negative and potentially even depressing connotation.

For some people the entire idea is a reason by itself to not start working on a plan. Fortunately many others are not held back by it. Nevertheless from an entrepreneurial state of mind it is and issue to take into account. The downside needs to be controlled despite that fact that it is mainly influenced by unforeseen occurrences.

Mastering the unexpected is a matter of timing and nothing else. As soon as you allocate a scarce resource (time, money, personnel, raw material, inventory etc.) to an objective your are immediately exposed to risk. From that moment on, you cannot use that same resource anywhere else and you run a risk of not having it available when you need it to cope with unexpected setbacks. We have to deal with the following dilemma:

So the longer you wait with allocating a resource to any specific task, the more freedom you have and the less risk you encounter.

Whether you have to deal with distribution, production, project management or office workflows, in all these processes the postponement of the allocation of resources will give you the flexibility to respond to the unexpected. The tendency to plan ahead and allocate resources well before they are required frustrates your responsiveness and forces you to forecast and implement all kind of control measures and other complexities that otherwise are unnecessary. They are expensive and ineffective. The tendency to plan and 'control' ahead of time originates from the inability to deal with uncertainty as a given fact of life. Therefore many people choose to simulate 'certainty' with rigid plans that need to be managed and monitored. It causes complexity and inertia. It's far more effective to focus on flexibility and have faith in the resourcefulness of you and your team when you need it. 

Yohyon van Zantwijk