Blog: Detective and Preventive Controls

Sometimes people say, “If only I knew then what I know now….” I recently heard someone on the radio say, “Sometimes I wish the ‘now’ me could have told the ‘then’ me that I was doing something stupid.”

To put this in the perspective of controls, these statements were both detective controls. While it is helpful to identify what has gone wrong, preventive controls are much better because they prevent the negative thing from happening. In other words, instead of having the ‘now’ us talk to the ‘then’ us, what we need to ask ourselves is, “What would the ‘future’ me tell the ‘now’ me today?”

Rather than trying to fix past problems, we should focus on preventing future problems. Among many things, something that my ‘future’ me would tell my ‘now’ me is that I need to exercise more and eat better. Another is that I should make certain to enjoy my children growing up. The good news is that I have the ability to do both of these now.

What would your ‘future’ you tell the ‘now’ you today?