How to Build a Time Machine
Last summer I listened to a speech from Bill Hybels about dealing with crisis. He used the analogy of a rogue wave. In sailing, he explained, its not simply high waves that worry a captain, it’s the unexpected high wave. He compared our country’s current economic crisis to the rogue wave. One common sense statement he made still resonates with me. “Cash reserves give you time to react when the rogue wave hits,” You need time to adjust your plan, time to find a solution, time to formulate a response.
I wish I could go back in time. If that was possible I would be able to go back and prepare contingency plans for the rogue wave. I would set things in motion to counteract the negative affects. I would freeze time so that I could build the necessary cash reserves to weather the storm. I would go back in time and hire the right people suited to deal with the upcoming crisis. I just need to control time!
How to build a time machine
First, you have to gather the resources to construct the machine. That’s a venture any investor would jump at. The value of this machine is obvious; it would be easy to raise the necessary capital to get the project started.
Second, you must assemble to blueprints. The construction of an operable time machine requires meticulous planning. Each step in the process must be laid out before the construction begins.
Third, you must construct the machine. After the resources are committed and the plan is in place, the assembly process is simple. The real trick is to continue the work so the job gets done. The time machine is worthless if it only exists in blueprints.
The resources necessary for your organization to build a time machine are equal to 10% of your operating budget in perpetuity. That’s a steep price but the value of a time machine is so obvious that the return on investment clearly makes sense.
The plan is actually very simple. Step one, use the 10% to build a reserve, “cash gives you time to react”. After the reserve is in place, invest that 10% in future business opportunity. Plant seeds in terms of new business year after year. If you are constantly planting seeds, the chances are high that you will have a harvest coming even if the current crop is devalued.
The difficult step is getting started. Once momentum is built, your organization is used to operating on 90% of its resources. It is that first step that is the most challenging. It takes more energy to get started than to continue. The discipline of execution is critical.
It is not possible to go back in time but we all have the benefits of a time machine if we just have the discipline to build it. We can make the time now to prepare contingency plans for the rogue wave. We can set things in motion to counteract the negative affects. With discipline, planning, and execution we can build the necessary cash reserves to weather the storm. We can hire the right people suited to deal with the upcoming crisis. We can control time!