What's Your Contingency Plan?

What's Your Contingency Plan?

The story is all too familiar...

You go to get a __________ (insert drivers license, radio permit, land permit, anything permit). And you’re informed that you must wait in a queue over here.

So you wait. And prepare yourself for the long journey ahead.

Time goes by and you inquire as to what the hold up is...

“Oh, the only person who signs the permits has died."

“Oh no! I am so sorry to hear that. Is there someone else here who can sign?"

“No."

“No?"

“No."

“Uh, so what do I do? I need my _________ (insert what you need) to be signed so I can go on about my life and have a clear conscience that I’m doing things the right way."

“We don’t have a replacement. Come back when we do."

“When will you have a replacement?"

Blank stare...

This has happened to us all. And the question we must ask is:

What is our contingency plan?

If we build a system that hinges on one person and that person dies and now the system collapses—it’s an inefficient system.

As business owners and people striving to do great things, this type of thinking and way of doing life is unacceptable. We cannot accept a plan that doesn’t have a contingency (or backup plan).

If your contingency is ‘Make a Plan,’ then you might as well plan to fail. Making a plan works when the system that’s broken is not our doing (in this case, the example above, you will have to make a plan.).

However, if you are the one designing the plan from square one, you should not have 'make a plan' factored into your system. It should work from point A to point Z with contingencies along the way that allow the team to operate without hinging on one person.

How do you navigate life efficiently when all around us is inefficiency?

My theory is you do it with contingency plans. So, what’s your backup plan?

This may seem a little redundant to have backups and backups of backups. It is. But trust me, if you start thinking like this when designing your business, your strategy, and your life, you’ll be surprised when system failures no longer surprise you, but merely initiative the contingency plan.

(photo via michael cory)