Senator Ted Kennedy is recovering from surgery today--and is still alive, thanks to a doctor that anticipates problems. A routine check revealed that Mr. Kennedy had an "asymptomatic" blockage in his left carotid artery. Gratefully for Kennedy, his doctor knows that what looks innocent today can become deadly tomorrow.
Perhaps I'm sensitive to Kennedy's situation because during a routine check three years ago my attentive physician found an "asymtomatic" lump in my throat. It wasn't until the biopsy during surgery that anyone was able to confirm that this innocent lump was malignant. Gratefully, a skilled surgeon and excellent treatment has made that potential problem a great story to share--not an untimely ending to a life.
What "asymptomatic" issue is brewing in your world that doesn't look like a problem now--but if left unattened could quickly become a major challenge demanding your time and your company's resources? Yes, problem prevention costs time and money--but usually less of both than problem resolution.
Anticipation is the first step toward prevention. The surest way to prevent a problem is to plan for it.