Sir Isaac Newton proposed that for every force there is an equal and opposite force.

This week I was reminded again of just how true that statement is and that no matter how much we believe in something or care passionately about a topic there will always be people who have the polar opposite view.

Working in Business Continuity we should be battle hardened to such situations given the time and effort we sometimes have to spend encouraging and directing people or organisations to engage in our subject.

Nevertheless the reminder, when it came was still of interest. This was the week when the whole of the nation was fixated on the outcome of England’s second World Cup match where victory was pretty much essential. Every man, woman and child knew what was required and hoped for the desired result. Tension. Pressure. This was much bigger than a mere football match – this was about national pride and patriotism. Around the country I’m sure it became the main conversation starter as people arrived at work each morning – well that was until I spoke to Matthew!

I guess we all make assumptions from time to time, sometimes we have to, but surely something as important as the national team playing in the World Cup (or not) would generate at least some modicum of interest from every Englishman. ‘Nope, I’m really not interested (in football or the World Cup)’ was the answer. ‘Huh?’

OK, it’s a fair point. A good reminder of Newton’s third law!

Does this help us in our work? You bet!

Now that the interest of every Englishman in the World Cup has been diminished, perhaps not quite to Matthew’s level, but certainly a lot lower than it was this time last week, we can concentrate on our work again.

So here’s your challenge for this week. Every time you try and kick off an activity, or need the support of those around you to achieve something, take a minute or two to view the request from the opposite stand point. This will help you anticipate the challenges you could face and allow you to prepare for them. Surprises catch us off guard from time to time so your preparations will help you to be ready with answers or assurances as required.

As I mentioned above, whilst this is a regular part of life in Business Continuity it is easy to forget. We are often competing for time and effort from busy people who are being pulled in all directions by different stakeholders and priorities. Appreciating their circumstances and situations will enable us to adapt our approach to work with them effectively and achieve our goals.

In other news, Wimbledon starts this week so maybe I’ll check in with Matthew to see if he’s going to be following the tennis for the next two weeks…….

June 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm
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