I knew it! (Or, in retrospect, the future was always obvious.)

When cars are more than the intended road capacity, and the roads are not getting any bigger, traffic congestion and its attendant effects on the human body and the environment is only a matter of time.

Increased stress levels, complex health challenges and a significantly weakened environment became the now obvious outcome.

After several years conducting covert military operations to reconstitute nations, contrary ideologies were bound to emerge, or where already in existence, receive a motivational boost from the perceived intrusion of the “intervening” nation.

This became obvious as splinter groups realised that they could back their ideologies with firepower significant enough to get the world’s attention.

Again, it remains one of the wonders of the world of business that firms believe (at some fundamental level) that taxes can be avoided (“delayed” becomes the term when actors are caught) and corners can be cut. Yes, it’s true and despite the many convictions, out of court settlements and prolonged court cases, tax evasions continue.

But this too in retrospect was obvious as systems created to maintain the necessary balance between opposing economic forces could be manipulated.

The statistics on civil unrest, fraud, theft, arson and crime in general and this appear to be another wonder – almost as if the entire planet is on the precipice of oblivion, about to make the jump into the unknown.

But then research shows how little time parents spend with their children, the now normal rise of individualism as opposed to the more society friendly communal style of living, the absence of strong mentors and the erosion of a moral code. And then in the end, it was obvious.

The outcome was always inevitable, crime had nowhere else to go but up.

Firms wonder why they copy strategies used by the competition and it doesn’t work, however sincere the adjustments made for the competitors business model. The borrowing organisation having the passion to succeed, but not the right vision, and consequently the wrong culture, devolving into the wrong strategy rendering every effort thereon a waste of time.

In the end, it was always obvious, “copy and paste” could appear to be, but would never be the real thing. Plus, the world of business and a blank Microsoft word page couldn’t have fewer things in common.

It may be in the nature of systems burdened with unrealistic growth expectations that corners are cut to meet the numbers and this sometimes in partnership with Governments.

There is always change, and it is always on the horizon until it flits past and then it’s obvious. Changes of the past is always obvious in retrospect – clearly things couldn’t continue in a certain way and people wonder how they lived without the advancements that have now come to stay. But then, why does it take industries by surprise?

There is usually an unwillingness to believe that a good run might be coming to an end, and must be changed.

This leads to a struggle to hold on by all means necessary to the systems that are in decline. So several props are is applied until the structures of the past can no longer bear the weight of the present’s demands.

This leads to the demise of great firms, irrespective of how old they were, what they’ve survived and how successful they had been.

The world couldn’t use the horse and carriage forever, as it could only travel so far. Neither could one spend months travelling by sea. Something had to give – the rate of population growth and the pace of man’s desires, ambitions combined to force out the new.

There is something to be said in favour of those who hold on the past as there have been changes that did not herald the future. These changes only destroyed what was currently efficient; hence phrases like “don’t change a winning team”, “don’t reinvent the wheel”, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

In practice, executing change, especially in large organisations is not as straightforward as management popular literature suggests. Next, companies, management and boards need to be aware that they may be more vested in existing structures than they think. This is why more investment is usually required to make consumers switch away from the competition’s brand.

A possible way out is to make company influencers own the change effort and attempt a execution person to person method.

It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. One must then imagine what it would be if 7 billion plus people “created” the future – it would be a recipe for chaos.

A better position might be to have some who create the future and others who predict it.

That way more eyes are on the possible outcomes of present decisions thereby reducing the chances of seeing things only in retrospect.

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