It's said, hope is not a strategy. Dismiss hope, though, and what have you got? What plan protects its own access to the resources necessary to endure adversity and unpredictable challenge that doesn't fuel itself, at least somewhat by hope.
What hope does mostly is to kindle healthy response to fear.
People in home building and residential development who are responsible for planning for their organization, a community, a society, a people, need painstaking attention to detail, scenario and contingency preparation, expertise, fortitude, and a whole lot of motivation to withstand malicious, negating forces. They need to have considered all there is to guard against--what they control and what they can only try to anticipate and solve for, and they need to have clarity on what they're driving for--what it means, how to accomplish it, and where to move next.
Hope, though, is there among organizations that succeed. It may not be the strategy, but then we know that strategy alone does not make for success, or at least sustainable success. Hope, along with trust, are a human culture structure, upon and around which strategies get support. Hope and trust are the unchanging shell, while strategies and tactics (the stuff of planning) are the fluid, morphing software that allow for a resilient response to conditions.
What hope does for cultures, corporate, societal, institutional, whatever, is to offset the paralysis and atrophy of fear. We know that in organizations fear stifles essential impetus towards goals.
We say to our troops, "we want you to be bold enough to fail." What leader, in his or her heart of hearts, doesn't feel that he or she nurtures that willingness to try something and fail as a core ingredient of the organization? How often, though, is it either wishful thinking or out and out lip service?
Home builders and residential developers need more than strategies right now. They need to tap into responses from people who work in them to inertial, powerful headwinds, smothering legacy practices and assumptions, and processes that can not adapt to swiftly-changing economic and physical environments. Our companies need people working among them who are willing to try new ways and be willing to fail.
What will keep that from happening? Fear. It's as old as human kind, and it serves as a fundamental survival instinct. Will it keep your associates and your organization from being willing to try bold new things, and perhaps fail in those attempts?
I'd like to think home builders, steeped as the cultures are in cyclical adversity and resilience amid turmoil, have an edge when it comes to cultivating, not so much the next big thing as the next bold thing.