Stop Extrapolating

To break the sonic speed you must first stop extrapolating. Here is what it looks like.

Don’t get me wrong. Extrapolating can be helpful. You might be able to extrapolate the federal debt in 2012. Extrapolation helps the government calculate social security obligations in 2032. You may calculate the traffic expected on major freeway in 15 years to help you design the freeway systems and the bridges you will need to build.

An Obama presidency could not be extrapolated just a few years ago. Extrapolating is limited, and it can be very limiting. Here are a few important things you were able to do without extrapolating:

1. You moved from crawling to standing and then to walking without extrapolation. These were nonlinear moments.
2. Getting on a bike for the first time was not extrapolated.
3. Learning to swim and even learning multiplication was a feat accomplished without extrapolation.
4. Your first kiss and the first time you made love were non-extrapolative events.
5. Important insights, learning and discovery were all non-extrapolative.

What else can not be extrapolated?

1. Creative ideas
2. Inspiring innovation
3. Turning point decisions
4. Your next breakthrough

Even hurricane paths seem to disagree with the extrapolative computer models. Technical analysis based on cyclicality and price movement fails time and again. The collapse of major firms on Wall Street is a case in point.

You are not an extrapolation machine. Stop thinking this way. A truly open and engaged conversation cannot be extrapolated. Getting promoted to a new role, assuming new responsibility and developing the capabilities to realize its opportunities are non-linear and non-extrapolative. The future is not an extrapolative continuation of the past. It is newly emerging and converging.

To be better ready you must engage new-think processes, consider wild cards, and be prepared to defy the crowds. Agility, versatility, resilience and adaptive thinking must be the coin of your realm.

© Aviv Shahar

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