In a blog for The Huffington Post, Andrew H. Harding, Managing Director of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), raises an important point. Citing the stock market crash in China and the collapse in oil prices as two examples, he questions whether so-called ‘unthinkable’ events are really so unimaginable. Or is it the case that they are simply so unpalatable that business leaders just don’t want to think about them?
It’s important because it impacts directly on the ability of businesses to develop true resilience. After all, how can you prepare for an eventuality that you don’t want to think about? So, is there a way of ensuring that leaders don’t bury their heads in the sand?
Harding thinks there is and he argues that the answer lies in Integrated Thinking – an approach that brings together the most relevant people and the most relevant information for any decision making process. Once embedded within the corporate culture, Integrated Thinking can overcome the silo mentality that so easily permeates any organisation.
And, of course, it can help to ensure that the unpalatable is brought into the open and thought about rather than being pushed to one side and ignored.
As Harding observes, the new operating environment is one of ‘business as unusual’ – which makes it all the more important that businesses take whatever steps are necessary to ensure – despite the apparent contradiction in terns – that the unthinkable is actually thought about.