Chapter . Afterword

Altimeters. Vertical speed indicators. Fuel gauges. Airplanes have an endless array of instrumentation to tell pilots what is going on while they're flying through the sky. But pilots get into trouble when they rely too heavily on these tools and forget to look out the window.

By the same token, EPM is an awesome set of instruments for knowing how a business is performing and for taking action in the future. But EPM today is based on KPIs for business that are relevant today. And there may be something coming at you head‐on that you just can't see with existing performance metrics.

While tracking and projecting performance based on existing metrics is essential, it's not enough if companies want to remain competitive and relevant in the future. Professionals need to continually ask themselves original questions—questions outside of their day‐to‐day reality—that can lead to fresh thinking, new business opportunities, and readiness for unplanned events.

I call this “decision context.” Decision context is the information we use to color our judgment of significant issues. The key is to identify and play out a number of possible scenarios—including highly unusual ones—before they happen in an effort to uncover new insights and be prepared for the unexpected.

Different Thinking

Although there are many techniques for thinking differently about the business, I like the approach used by the futurist and business strategist Peter Schwarz in his book, The Art of the Long View. ...

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