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Philosophy of potential context

By Yousuf A Al-Azmi

“There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing and sometimes be able to succeed.” – Calvin Coolidge

There are people who attempt as much as they can to reach a potential reality, possible outcome and potential future. The ‘potential’ as I see it, is the future that they had plans for, but the results are not proven yet. I remember in one of the Arab presidential elections, the candidate was being referred to as a possible candidate for the presidency, even before he declared his candidacy.

There is no doubt that there is a legal motive behind this attitude, especially if we remember that this country is particularly famous for its people who mix vocabulary with law jargon, a mix that does not go beyond the vocal phenomenon, as this country is known for its many laws and legal personnel.

Potential context is closer to organized planning for the future. For example, you start planning to build a house. Then you visualize how the exterior of the building will look, and the details of the interior. Possibilities will be about the size of one room and whether it is suitable for its purpose, be it a main or private room. Options also include whether the idea is realistic, or will it be changed, besides many other possibilities. This is just for the house, so how do you think it will be for other things?

Strategists have several possible contexts for the expected or planned event, and the smart one among them considers the worst of possibilities. They focus on the possibility of surprises, and if one surprise takes place, the potential context will absorb and contain it. The potential context, or expecting the unexpected, is a philosophy or policy that should be always followed, either by individuals or entities. We are living in a world that is full of unexpected surprises, and we do not know what will surprise us.

Even if you think of global events around us, you will find that those who do not deal with the future with realistic planning will face the worst possibilities and be at a loss on how to deal with them and their destiny will be mysterious and difficult. There should be, in international relations, excellent planners for what is beyond today, to predict how future possibilities and expectations will be and act according to the worst circumstances, so that readiness standards can be comfortable for all. Leaving matters as they are is an indication of a dangerous strategic mistake that may damage the entire system.

Even in managing financial affairs at financial and business institutions of all types, there is the so-called risk management and it is similar to the idea of potential context, as it presents views that help executives to predict or monitor any financial problems, that may occur in the future and have the necessary solutions to deal with them through direct and quick implementation of alternative plans that guarantee risk management and attempt to benefit from unexpected trouble.

At this point, tell me about your level of risk management and I will tell you about your institutional level, and be sure there will be nothing left to chance in professionally well-respected establishments.

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