Nov 7, 2011
“The only change to be afraid of is the change that we are not prepared for.”
Are you prepared for change?
In business today everything happens fast. The proliferation of technology has made it nearly impossible to keep up. Every time that you think you have a handle on the latest tools for business productivity the next tool is has been introduced.
I use the quick change in the cell phone industry to paint the picture. Here are a few questions for you…
- Did motorola see the changes coming when they had the market leading “Razor”?
- Did RIM see the iPhone coming?
- Is Apple ready for the company that is developing the iPhone replacement?
The answer to the first 2 questions is no, the last question is TBD.
Leaders face the same challenge. These changes shape our organization and when you are leading, it isn’t only tools and technology, but people as well. When you add people into the equation you now deal with all of the shift that impacts them and it becomes your challenge to motivate, inspire, and of course lead them through it all.
So how do we see far enough into the future to be able to prepare for the change that is coming? Is that even possible?
I propose that it is not only an important trait, but a leadership imperative to have a handle on the trends that affect your organization as well as your industry. This “Trendspotting” capability allows us to have visibility into what is about to happen and it allows us to then prepare for it. This awareness and preparation is a differentiator and it is something that can be utilized to create a competitive advantage.
Some of the advantages could be…
- Enhancements in Product or Service
- Improved Employee and Customer Relations
- Better utilization of available tools for productivity and analysis
What does capitalization on these advantages lead to?
Better business…Better leadership…
Sounds great right? so how do we accomplish this “Trendspotting?”
The natural ability to do this varies from person to person. However there are some habits that the visionaries have and with some focus we can all get better at this. Put these things on your “To Do” list.
- Always be learning. Read the books, blogs, trade magazines, and the news. Awareness is key to seeing the trends.
- Always be networking. The world is your oyster, never assume you can’t learn from someone. Opportunity is everywhere.
- Never accept complacency. It seems obvious, but when things are going well, you should be working even harder at the next big thing.
- Watch the trends. A great book on this topic is Flash Foresight by Daniel Burrus. Learn the difference between hard and soft trends, know how to take advantage of the trends.
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be problematic. Spot the trends and take advantage of it. If done well, it can make for better business and better leadership. Are you prepared?