Yesterday I wrote about data and the volatile nature of projections but what’s worse than inaccurate forecasts? Not doing them at all.

A colleague recently looked at attendance data and trends and calculated that the next event could have a substantially larger number of participants. As with all projections, he made assumptions to reach that conclusion, but they were reasoned and not totally off base…

…only they ended up being wrong. His staff did extra work and had high expectations for a record-setting crowd, only to find little increase in the number who showed up.

So, what happens next time? Do you ignore the trend line? Set up only for a lower number? Go through all the extra work again “in case”?

My advice: if the projections are reasonably thought out, you should prepare for them to materialize. Your staff might think you are crying wolf but is far better to be overprepared than to be caught off guard.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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