As a motorcycle riding instructor, there are few critical skills that I always focus on with every single trainee. Among those skills, probably the most important one is the proper use of the Head-and-Eyes technique, empathizing on always looking ahead, always looking toward the exit. This concept has been drilled into us by our instructors, and in my turn, I ensure I do the same with new riders. An unlimited number of books, videos, online courses, and schools exist and tackle this topic in greater detail.
Why is it so important to look ahead?
There are four main reasons why looking ahead is essential and are all built-in one another. Let’s go over it and then talk through a few practical ways to practice the same in our business.
First, Drawing the path: We need to look ahead to feed our brains the visual information it requires to draw smooth paths from where we are to where we need to go. If we do not look ahead, we do not know how to put ourselves in the best position as we are taking that path. And we become stuck, relying purely on memory to get us around. It creates the problem that unless our memory is perfect, we end up poorly positioned and unable to carry as much speed as possible. Have you ever noticed, when driving down the highway, how looking at the road stripes way ahead makes them look to be moving slower than if you look at the stripes as they go by? Looking ahead slows things down and gives us more time to plan and respond.
Second, Directing the forces: Taking it one step further, looking ahead enables us to see the direction we require to lead the motorcycle forces. Our intuition rightfully wants us to aim the forces of the bike in the most efficient direction. When we do not look ahead effectively, we may drive around a corner, satisfied in the feeling that we are riding on the grip limit. But that alone is not enough. On the other hand, when we use our vision to see where we should be directing the motorcycle forces, we can immediately tell whether or not we are travelling on the most efficient path around the corner. Using our vision is an essential part of seeing the ideal trajectory that we should be on.
Third, Continuous evaluation: looking ahead plays a crucial role in helping us evaluate our riding! It is not something that we often talk about. It gives us the information we require to see, process and assess our performance efficiency, in addition to what else we need to make it better on the current turn/trajectory or better prepare for the next one. Our visual cues are one of the most critical cues we have at our disposal to tell how efficiently we are moving through the corner.
Fourth, Target fixation: Magically, our motorcycle will always go where we look. Therefore, every time we look at a barrier or a hazard, we notice our bike automatically going towards it in each corner or manoeuvre. It is also known as Target Fixation. Therefore, it is critical to always look ahead towards the best exit possible, and our bike will go where we look.
“OK”, you may say, “That’s all well and good. But how do I get better at this? Where should I be looking? How far ahead?”
Here I will bring the relevance of the above information related to professional motorcycle riding into a curve and our approach to negotiating an apex in the present business struggle caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty around when is it going to end and how the future of business would be looking like.
So if you are currently inside the bend or curve, and we want to give you the tools you need to prepare yourself by the time the crisis finishes; so you are ready to accelerate as hard as you possibly can, build your business back up, take as much of the market and get back on track. Rather than just surviving the crisis, you need to get to a point of readiness for what comes next; so you can tackle that with vigour, optimism, and the right resources. It would be best if you built a robust plan of action for a quick rebound.
Looking ahead means, all starts by identifying what your goals on reboot day are. What resources do you need to have in place to be able to achieve those goals? Because there will be for sure some gaps between where you are today and where these goals sit. An effective way to get there is to start from the end and walk your path backwards to today. Because If we start where we are today, we could go in a million different directions.
2Y3X QuickMap® is a tested straightforward framework for planning the coming three months, so you are ready for reboot day and get back on track in a perfect model for how business has changed. This strategy map framework is universal, and you could cut this to fit anything you want.
Reach out to me to learn how you can have your plan sorted in just one day. I will show you how to use the 2Y3X QuickMap® methodology to do strategically important work on a tactical basis.
Jihad Al Houwayek
Partner at LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X Master Licensee for the MENA Region