Hold My Beer
People love to plan. Some even make a career out of it. Planning for the future provides us with a sense of security. “Things will be okay” we tell ourselves, since all will go according to plan.
Until it doesn’t. Even the best plans, laid out with the most care and detail, can fall apart at the blink of an eye. There are always unknown unknowns.
Humans tend to not do well with failure. A failure makes us double down on our planning efforts – the plan must have failed because we did not track the right metrics or made a misstep in prediction. I wrote about this in an earlier post: the mantra of most corporations today is predict and control.
Statistically, our collective planning efforts are met with limited success. 70% of projects fail. These failures are treated as something that can be mitigated with further controls.
Teal organizations cringe at control and have abandoned heavy-duty project management machinery. Life unfolds in this minute, every minute. This is the individual's perspective.
The project perspective, on the other hand, is all hands on deck – there are no disengaged team members, no sabotage between individuals and groups, no politics, and no silos. Transparency and wholeness work wonders. It also scares a lot of managers at conventional companies.
Hold my beer.
Less Planning, More Doing
Shift Sight is a flavor of Teal. The company processes are in their infancy, but one thing has been baked into the financial and business models from the start: plan for nothing going according to plan.
I have identified four major, mutually exclusive inputs that will determine success or failure. If Shift Sight was a conventional business, I would carefully predict targets and design controls to reach them. Under a Teal lens, this is a waste of energy since life is unpredictable.
These inputs are placed on a living spectrum. Life never happens in one color or the other, but in shades. As data is available, I alter the inputs and determine the most pragmatic next step.
The method to this madness is called a Monte Carlo simulation, named after the casino.
As a predictive tool, it allows me to see which inputs are most sensitive to the success of Shift Sight. Is it the advertising conversion rate? Is it the COGS? Is it your child’s shoe size?
Shift Sight aspires to bring sweeping, positive change to this planet on many fronts. Monte Carlo enables the company to be non-resistant and survivable to the reality of things. When events occur on the "bad" end of the spectrum, it was known from the start what the effect would be and how to move forward.
This is a form of planning that emphasizes doing and acting in this moment.
A Game of Chance
As with any system, garbage in is garbage out. Care must be used to understand that no approach is a panacea. The benefit to Monte Carlo, as a predictive model, is that it helps you understand alternative means to move forward in real-time as life happens.
For example, Jade has a developing BOM. I started with a target, but I used Monte Carlo to position that target as "unlikely to be achieved." I have never observed a product that was delivered on-target at this phase in development, so it would be foolish for me to assume I could do better. I will still aspire to meet that target, but its statistical likelihood is part of the plan.
Life is a game of chance. To desire any one outcome and be resistant to circumstances that have changed beyond our control is a waste of energy and aspiration.
I have attached a sample Monte Carlo simulation for your use. Please read the disclaimer and navigate the tabs from left to right. The examples should be self-explanatory, but feedback is always welcomed. Please reach out if you have any questions. I always encourage people to learn by doing.
(As the simulator is VBA-powered, you will need to enable macros.)
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.