Hedge your bets and watch for opportunity.
Adapt, improvise, and overcome.
It has been interesting political theater, watching president elect Donald Trump at work during the run-up to taking office. Is he a bull in the china shop, a fox in the hen house, or a creative opportunist trying to create negotiating space for innovation and transformation?
With the Department of Defense, he has taken shots at a Boeing development contract for preliminary designs on a preplacement for Air Force One. Just after stirring things up over Air Force One, he lit a match under the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program at Lockheed Martin by asking Boeing to provide pricing for an updated F/A-18 as an alternative to the JSF.
Mr. Trump isn’t just taking aim at defense. At various times he has threatened to eliminate entire federal cabinet level organizations, including both the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. The New York Times published a nifty list of targets in Mr. Trump’s sight picture.
Negotiators love to introduce uncertainty. Entrepreneurs try to leverage it. Mr. Trump is both and he is doing both in ways we’ve never seen in our Government before.
Logisticians make a living understanding, managing and eliminating uncertainty. From trade to borders to tariffs to defense to international trade agreements, Mr. Trump – the negotiator and the entrepreneur – is already bringing a truckload of uncertainty into our world. From his perspective, it is the right thing to do but it looks very different from where we sit.
Much like a logistician introducing disruptive technology, Mr. Trump’s challenges to the status quo could be leveraged to advantage.
It’s time to hedge our bets. Get nimble if you’re not already. Re-establish parallel capability options in the United States, if you shipped it overseas. If you have remained firmly entrenched in the US, relying on exports to reach overseas markets, it might be time to think about connecting with some partners offshore and establishing a ground game.
It looks like we’re in for an interesting four years. Are you ready to improvise, adapt, and overcome?