“Life is currently moving at several haibos per minute.” (@kwameaddoobiri_) I am no fatalist, but I couldn’t help to smile at the accuracy of this tweet that came across my timeline this week. Seems like the very moment we feel we have things under control, some new challenge arises and I’m clearly not the only one that notices.
The word haibo can be used in many different scenarios, but usually as a term of disbelief, almost like the English, “no way!”. It could be a term to use when you hear that Russia actually went to war with Ukraine (read more). It could also be quite apt when you want to explain that after a draught that lasted eight long years, the very welcome rain also gave rise to an outbreak of locusts! (read more). Or perhaps it would even be descriptive of the disbelief when the SA wine industry got back on its feet after draughts in the winelands, just to be hit by Covid-related alcohol bans! Can it be? As soon as you see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is a new obstacle in the way.
Can we say, such is life? Perhaps we just don’t have any control over what happens and we have no choice but to roll with it? Some might agree. Others believe in conspiracies. They don’t believe things just happen. They think all events are carefully strategised and introduced as a way to someone’s end… Others believe in a bigger power that determines what happens in life. Regardless, we all still face challenges and we must survive in the short term and we might have to adjust our plans for the long run. Life goes on and it demand us to be flexible and to adjust our careful plans and programs. Such is life.
And while sometimes it does feel like we are going at “several haibos per minute”, some obstacles are manageable and easier to solve. Others, however, might be out of our control, hard to understand and difficult to deal with. They can also be very unpredictable – like Covid. But sometimes challenges are predictable and not so much a haibo moment. We can, for instance, expect that there will be changes to the way we do things when artificial intelligence becomes a reality. “We will see more AI regulation kick in in 2022, and businesses will have to adapt rapidly to new transparency, accountability and audit requirements”, says Mona Sloane, Sociologist and Senior Research Scientist, New York University. (Read more) While some of us might be surprised by Putin’s aggression, those with their finger on the political pulse might not be. In 2021 already, John Miller of the The Fozzie Miller Group said: “2022 will be a year of continued challenges — especially regarding Chinese and Russian aggression. The most pressing issue will be responding in Ukraine, should Russia decide to invade.” (Read more)
There can be some entertainment value in a story that is hard to believe, but there isn’t anything funny about surprises in business. How do we ensure less “no way” moments in business? How do we steer away from things that are unplanned and unexpected? To start with, it helps to stay informed, to choose whose opinions you rate or agree with and to apply critical thought.
Luckily, we didn’t have many haibo moments in the budget speech this week. (Read more) I guess in some cases you just don’t have room for surprises. The situation is of such a nature that there really is but one wise option. I must say for the best part of the new budget there is little excitement and no real surprises – but in a good way.
There are many things in life that we enjoy and that we should be positive about. Sometimes we even get a positive surprise! But yes, we can be sure about more than death and taxes – there is also life’s challenges! Such is life.