Adapting vs. Forecasting

"It wasn't my forecasting ability that got me here -- it was my adaptability!"

I am bringing you quotes, information, and a joke in this frontline report from the Beyond Budgeting 9th Annual Conference in Dallas.

As I noted in Wednesday's blog post, my coauthor of the book Future Ready is trapped in the UK due to the volcanic ash cloud covering much of Europe. Since our conference's theme is "Future Ready," Mr. Morlidge will still appear (despite the flight cancellations), virtually.

This morning's speaker is Bjarte Bogsnes, the lead implementer for Statoil and the BBRT European Champion. (He also authored a great book on his experience titled Implementing Beyond Budgeting, which is published by Wiley.) On Monday, Bjarte miraculously grabbed one of three American Airlines flights that found a window in the ash cloud and made it into Oslo; from there, he made his way to Dallas via Chicago. As Bjarte pointed out, "It wasn't my forecasting ability that got me here -- it was my adaptability!"

So many times we focus on trying to forecast more accurately. Wouldn't our efforts be better spent on becoming more adaptable?

By filming most of the conference sessions, we can serve Beyond Budgeting members without the constraints of a specific date and time. We can also bring in speakers from anywhere in the world, which helps make our Beyond Budgeting world a more intimate and collaborative community. I am not forecasting that: We are innovating by adapting.

To close, here's a brief joke making the rounds at the conference: During last year's credit crunch there was a great deal of animosity generated when the UK and the Netherlands had to bail out the banks in Iceland to keep them from liquidation. Now there are hard feelings on both sides.

The Dutch and British have been pressing for repayment. When they asked for "cash." the Icelandic team heard "ash" and sent up a volcano. ###

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