A friend of mine told me the other day that about once a year, the leadership of his company (he runs a division) meet off site and talk about the business. He said the time spent is about 50% "Oh my God, how are we going to survive the year?" and 50% excited chatter about new growth opportunities in the coming years.
They have things about right. No company should let itself feel and act beaten down and endangered as a standard attitude. But a little fear, particularly when it helps drive initiative and ambition, is a good thing and an essential tool for strategic thinking and leadership. We need to face uncertainties, consider what we don't know and need to solve, and confront the very real change that is always surrounding us.
But the fearful talk should be contained, only periodic, and actually used as a stepping stone to get into positive, new-goal-focused conversation.
The mindset and tools of foresight can help the cause here. They can help you discover that there are new opportunities, and get everyone past thinking that's limited to today's crises and constraints. Find ways to stretch your thinking deeper into the future, and you can make sure that the sense of opportunity doesn't lose out to the sense of dark clouds.
Images: via Flickr, by dryhead, and DieselDemon. Creative Commons Attribution License