Chaos is the #1 problem in business these days and it’s only going to get worse.  The future coming at us is quicker than ever before – like someone keeps pushing the fast-forward button every year, creating an increasingly time compressed world.

This defaults many into an overwhelming state of disorganized chaos and chronic crisis management, which gobbles up any well intentioned efforts to strengthen their strategy and execution process as detailed in my last blog post: Chaos Eats Strategy & Execution for Dinner.

But life doesn’t have to be that way.  Here’s a tool to begin changing your relationship with chaos – a chaos journal.  Keep a journal of chaos and crises that occur in your business.  Use a physical journal, a ring binder, your day planner or on your tablet.  To begin, start answering these important questions:

  • What?                 What just happened?
  • When?                When did it happen?
  • Where?               Where did it happen?
  • Why?                   Why did it happen?
  • How?                   How did it happen?
  • Who?                   Who was involved?

To maximize the benefit of this approach, journal right after a crisis happens, while it’s still fresh in your mind and you have a sense of some of the nuances and dynamics of how the situation and circumstances arose.  Get forensic in asking these What, When, Where, Why, How and Who questions before the scene gets contaminated and memories fade.

Then tap into the power of Triple Loop Learning, utilizing the graphic below:

When you do this methodically in a disciplined manner, you maximize the learning value earned from any chaos or crisis.  See it as paying tuition, from which you can maximize the return-on-investment, 1X, 10X, or 100X over.

Become a student of chaos and you will soon experience the benefits – feeling more ahead of the crisis, and moving from a world of disorganized chaos to organized chaos.  That’s a world of difference which will change the trajectory of both your business and life.