Future adaptability prolongs survival

Future adaptability is critical for survival.

Future adaptability and survival

Future adaptability and survival go hand in hand as the new marketplace unfolds because adaptability will secure your future survival. At the very least it improves your chances against the disruptive and destructive forces at play. When the environment is so unpredictable, it is difficult to apply traditional forecasting. Along with analysis, that is at the heart of strategic planning for the future.

The idea that you have all the answers and can solve problems without external assistance must be disregarded. That is if you are to meet future adaptability requirements. While you might have strong analytic skills and are rigorous in your management of the business. Don’t take things at face value, don’t go in with your preconceived ideas without proving up your assumptions with people who have had previous experience.

Who can help you?

The biggest problem you should have is finding people capable of delivering practical and useful answers to the problems you face. There is so much information available that it is almost too much and overwhelming. If you aren’t prepared to process the information effectively, it can keep you frozen in a state of poor decision-making and a lack of appropriate action.

Your ability to maintain or shift your focus to your business’s changing priorities is a skill that indicates higher levels of adaptability and agility. Be one of those who maintains a consistent focus on their goals, while using creativity and innovation to solve challenges. You will find it easier to adapt to the future.

When you started your business you would have taken your experiences of the past. Put them all together to create a vision of what you wanted your business to look like. If you’ve been in business for a couple of years, your vision of what you want the future of your business to look like will probably have changed. There has been some adoption to  prevailing market conditions. The effects of changed economic conditions and technology may mean that your vision is no longer valid or sustainable and you need to make changes.

Why you may need to become more adaptable

We live in an era of risk and instability. Globalisation, driven by new technologies and greater transparency have combined to overturn the business environment. This gives many business owners and managers deep feelings of frustration and uncertainty.

It might just be that the reality of running your own business has taken hold and overrun your original ideas and opportunities. This could be leaving you feeling frustrated and stressed. Disruptive forces and  uncertainty pose barriers and challenges for developing new strategies that will take you successfully into the future.

You will need to cope with change

You can almost guarantee that the job you hire someone to do, will change or may not even exist in the future. This is why adaptability and learning skills are more important than technical skills. You can easily train people to acquire technical skills. It is not so easy to train people about future adaptability and survival, even though their jobs might depend on it.

At this point in your career, being offered insight into what future adaptability entails might seem a waste of time. However, even experienced business people can overlook important nuances that come with adaptability and need a refresher from time to time.

It is critical for businesses to encourage an environment where change is embraced, even when ambiguity is involved. Traditionally, businesses tend to cut down on innovation when uncertainty is present; instead, it needs to be welcomed and speeded up. A conscious effort should be made to maintain a positive mindset and to come up with new ways of seeing and doing things, in order to adapt to the future.

You will need to look for more self-directed people. People who can find creative solutions to some of the very tough, challenging problems that you will have to face. Your past experience and knowledge will only help you part way to the future.

Traditional approaches to strategy, are still seen as the answer to change and uncertainty. Particularly when you are still operating in a relatively stable and predictable marketplace. However, you still might need to become more flexible and adaptable. Maintaining the status quo is rarely acceptable if you want to improve your circumstances.

Future adaptability tips to help you handle change 

Maintain a positive attitude 

When you have a positive attitude, you’ll see change as necessary and good. Things need to change in order for you to evolve as a person and evolve your business. Focus on improving your health and well-being along with remaining optimistic that the change will bring even greater opportunities into your life.

Focus on agility and flexibility 

Instead of focusing on change as a whole, it might help to focus on smaller things you can work on that will make a difference today. If you find that you expect everything to go a certain way, you’re likely crushed when things don’t go according to plan. Focus on dealing with ambiguity and dealing with several possible outcomes. Leave yourself time to come up with alternatives when things change.

Make better use of information technology and communications

Increased automation will do way with boring tasks, hopefully freeing you and any employees for more creative work. This, however, requires more skills but, you will find the time and money spent will be well worth the effort. Start today by finding an advisor specialising in practical technology for smaller businesses and organisations.

Change your conversations

Ask different questions. The questions you usually ask will get you the sort of answers you usually get. This is not so helpful when you need new ideas and opportunities. Most people’s questions are usually focused on immediate problems and frustrations. However, being open to different possibilities is key. Push yourself to ask different questions that will focus conversations on future possibilities. Different questions open you up to new possibilities and create a more flexible and adaptable mindset.

Always be forward thinking 

Live in the present moment, but plan for the future. You’ll most often run into trouble with change when you spend much of your time worrying about the past. Things may never be like they were, they are only like they are right now. You can do something positive by focusing on doing something spectacular that will change everyone’s outlook.

Look at the big picture

Sometimes, in order to find a positive mindset about change, it helps to step back and look at your bigger picture. You might be caught up in dealing with one aspect which is consuming all of your time in that moment. Take a breath and realise that there’s much more to life. Think about what your ultimate goals. Maybe there’s a life lesson that you learned that’ll make you better able to cope now.

Focus on things that stay the same 

Nothing in life is permanent., but there are certain things you can count on. If you think of these things when you’re having a bad day, it just may provide you with a way forward. For instance, maybe you’re upset that you are moving to a new community. But you can take comfort in the fact that you’re moving with your family or that you’ll meet some wonderful new people along the way.

Never be frightened to ask for help

Remember that you’re not alone in life, even though it might feel like that sometimes. If you’re having an especially hard time dealing with a certain change, it’s completely understandable and you should feel no shame in asking for help. Sometimes you’ll feel better if you can just lean on somebody for some support.

How to adapt to the future business world

The answers businesses are coming up with in order to adapt, all point in a consistent direction. Sustainable competitive advantage no longer arises exclusively from a position, scale and first-order capabilities in producing or delivering products and services. So where does it come from?

wooden-puzzle

To make all the pieces fit you must be able to adapt.

 

Increasingly, owners and managers are finding that it stems from their organisational capabilities that promote rapid adaptation. Instead of being really good at doing some particular thing, businesses today must be really good at constantly learning how to do new things. Things like the following:

Adapting  your Business Model

Business models must be changing rapidly because they need to be adjusted to the new global environment. Just because your current business model worked in the past, doesn’t mean it will in the future. In order to adapt, you must have your antennae tuned to signals of change from the external environment. Be able to decode them and quickly acting to refine them or reinvent your business model altogether. Every business needs a Business Model that works well all day, every day. http://goo.gl/g8qUQx.

Partnerships

Partnerships are being formed worldwide during the past two decades, in order to cope with all the technological and other changes. Some of them last only a short period; others have been operating a long time. A ‘Bottom up’ start is seen as a key principle and a good number of partnerships have been created as part of a central strategy to support the delivery of products and programmes.  Understanding the value of partnerships,  http://goo.gl/cfBBPe

Entrepreneurial attributes

You’ve heard business is easy, but find yourself wasting enormous amounts of time and not making much money. Months, even years have passed and you’re still trying to get the business to work well. This is a sign that your business needs to acquire entrepreneurial attributes. Businesses of all sizes across the world are hearing the word ‘entrepreneur’. More and more and are starting to realise there is a ‘something’ they need in order to survive and thrive. Entrepreneurship makes things work. http://goo.gl/uq9or1.

Experiment and learn

When it’s time to act, complexity calls for a series of safe-to-fail experiments that you can use to nudge the business in a desired future direction. Instead of picking a final destination and trying to close the gaps, try finding places for experimentation and learning.  The experiments should be small, inexpensive, and most importantly they should be things you can learn from.

Thriving in complexity requires a whole new way of looking at the world and acting within it. When you shift your mindset, an amazing thing happens. You don’t just get better at dealing with complex situations, you actually get to enjoy the complexities and use them to your advantage. And in a world that gets more complex all the time, that’s a great benefit.

Advanced manufacturing

Though, not a new term, ‘advanced manufacturing’ has gained a lot of traction in the last few years. The consensus seems to involve a holistic approach to the way a business operates, with a high level of technology and expertise applied throughout every step of a business’s value chain. Many argue that to remain relevant into the future, businesses must adopt advanced manufacturing. Small businesses and not-for-profits need regearing for future adaptability, http://goo.gl/0wQNCt.

Identify areas where innovation will make a significant difference

Prior to 2000’s, manufacturing generally referred solely to the production of goods. Today, manufacturing is about ideas, products, processes and services, where systems represent a complex and highly integrated value chain. This value chain includes cutting-edge science and technology, innovation, skills, design, systems engineering, supply chain excellence and a wide range of intelligent customer services and customer experiences.

Innovation is about the creation, development, protection and commercialization of know-how, new products and processes that pre-empt the market by the application of technological and business skills.

Changing communications to the marketplace

Change is all around us, including the ways in which we communicate. Future adaptability focuses on a transformed communications marketplace where, given many choices, consumers are in charge. Consumers now switch rapidly among a large array of communications services and applications. Some are regulated. Many are either lightly regulated or not regulated at all.

Mobility and future adaptability

Having mobility and flexibility built into your working environment is not all about working from home. Mobility is about businesses and their employees working from wherever they want or, need to be. While working from home may not be a suitable option for everyone, there are many new and different ways of working.

If your working environment is enjoyable, it can have considerable benefits in productivity and employee morale. People now work in all sorts of places at all times of day and night and mobility is becoming increasingly important to them. Mobility is creating the new working environment, http://goo.gl/biP8Zc.

Improve the flow of information and knowledge into your business

It is ‘big data’ that will drive innovation and future adaptability. Managing your business’s information and knowledge more effectively and exploiting it in the marketplace is the latest pursuit of those seeking competitive advantage. Knowledge and other forms of ‘intellectual capital’ are the ‘hidden assets’ in a business. Information and knowledge do not usually appear on the balance sheet, or in annual reports. Yet it underpins value creation and future earnings potential. Every business is in the information and knowledge business.

Many are today being valued accordingly, rather than the hard assets they have. The goal of knowledge management is a practical one. It is  to improve the business capabilities through better use of the individual and collective information and knowledge resources.  This includes linking to external sources that are reliable, practical and useful. Knowledge management will unlock your potential,  http://goo.gl/UYqULq.

Businesses, non-profit organisations and communities must work together

As you travel around regional and remote areas, you find a land of striking contrast in the community makeup. Some regions are prosperous, with lively and clean main streets, with beautifully maintained parks. Many other regions are not doing so well, with paint flaking from once busy shops, weeds growing on the footpaths, empty streets and abandoned houses.

Isolation and loneliness are of great concern in regional and remote communities. Many are still being overlooked despite their contribution to the economic, tourism and cultural aspects of their country. Community revival is in everybody’s best interest, http://goo.gl/WW8F6i.

Identify your most innovative people

People solve problems, not governments, universities and corporations. Innovation is the domain of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In the rapidly changing global marketplace, the chances are that many of the ways you are doing business are already obsolete. The continuous struggle becomes the norm. You can’t find ways to solve the problems and frustrations you have, that are stopping you achieving your aspirations. Creativity and innovation need to be at the forefront of everything you do if breakthroughs are to be achieved,

The continuous struggle becomes the norm. You can’t find ways to solve the problems and frustrations you have, that are stopping you achieving your aspirations. Creativity and innovation need to be at the forefront of everything you do, if breakthroughs are to be achieved, http://goo.gl/d9CVwC.

Apply your business to research and development

Some people work really hard for something they love. They apply a lot of different strategies and really deserve huge success. However, they could be just a tad bit short of achieving such success because they are implementing some wrong strategies to tackle the challenges they face. You cannot become a famous football player without going through the necessary training and practice with the strategies needed to win. What are you trying to achieve? http://goo.gl/bfaviB.

Improve your skills across the business

Future adaptability and flexibility are learned skills. Using yesterday’s skills in your business is a fast road to failure. Work more collaboratively in groups. “Business is too hard doing it by yourself”.  Developing your skills and the skills of your employees can help to make your business adaptable to the future. Investing in skills and training can increase productivity and innovation, help you attract and retain high-quality employees and improve customer satisfaction.

Take the time to work out what skills will help your business grow and what support is available for your business. Cloud computing, mobile, social media, robotics, analytics and big data. These have all created a new normal for the future of smaller businesses, not-for-profit organisations and customers’ expectations. The future is changing rapidly and those who fail to keep up are at risk. Home-based businesses

Investing in skills and training can increase productivity and innovation. It will help you to attract and retain high-quality employees and improve customer satisfaction. Take the time to work out what skills will help your business grow and what support is available for your business.

Home-based businesses http://goo.gl/g7z2Ue  and lifestyle business will become more common place as people seek to improve their quality of life. Future small enterprises offer challenges,  http://goo.gl/pyua7k.

Activate your dream

Activate your dream using modern technology. Powerful microchips are changing our future whether we like it or not. Excuses as to why you can’t activate your dreams are diminishing rapidly as technology improves and becomes more affordable while being critical to future adaptability. In driving your future you must improve your agility and ability to adapt quickly.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+, are fundamentally data-driven and agile because they figured out a way to improve their value, by monetizing vast amounts of data. What business wouldn’t want that, but it’s a challenge for most businesses to really digest and act upon, http://goo.gl/GOl4HS.

Lifestyle businesses build dreams

Not happy with your job, been retrenched, need to readjust your business to suit your lifestyle? Like to move out of the city for a quieter country lifestyle? Well, stop majoring in minor decisions and get moving. There has never been a better time to start your own lifestyle business, where opportunities abound. Looking to create a lifestyle business, http://goo.gl/PMI424?

Speed to market is becoming more critical

The speed of everything is accelerating. If you have an idea or an opportunity, act on it as quickly as you can, before someone else beats you to it. Future adaptability means you need to be less fixated on a particular job. Instead look to develop a range of skills that will help you and your future adaptability.

To overcome these challenges, a growing number of adaptive businesses are using an array of new approaches and technologies. This is especially so in virtual environments, to generate, test, and replicate a larger number of innovative ideas faster. And at lower cost and with less risk than their competitors can.

You may have had a strong vision when you started your business.

The business has been ticking along one way or another without any thought to your future adaptability, or a new direction. Often that original vision has not been properly thought about for years.

This should be taken as a warning signal. If there is no clear vision for the business and there is nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd, survival into the future may be frustrating and difficult. Future adaptability becomes more difficult as time goes by.

Quotable quotes

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; It’s the one that is most adaptable”. Charles Darwin

“Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time”.  John Wooden

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