Will you be like a rabbit, darting here, darting there?
Leaders in all walks of life, including businesses, must be able to respond to change and future shock more quickly than ever before. You will find there is a need for flexibility and the need for agility if you are going to continue to prosper.
If you are responsible for the planning and budgets, then you probably need to create two for the year. The business plans which you had prepared for June will likely not address the changed conditions in the coming year.
On a worldwide basis, Information Technology spending continues to grow at a rapid rate and is creating innovation, new usage patterns, and continued cost improvement for users. In Australia alone, Information Technology spending runs into tens of billions of dollars, which in itself will give many people a shock as they move forward.
Leaders can drive growth for their businesses and non-profit organisations by taking advantage of this surge in development. This development has the potential to disrupt current business models.
New ways are emerging to attract and retain members by taking advantage of efficient, secure, always-available communications. In the emerging strategies for communications, user control is critical and communications in context, at the right time and place, makes a significant difference.
Can your business handle a severe shock
Crafting a business plan which can handle adversity is critical to achieving your expectations. Most people won’t complete their objectives this year because they’ll quit before they’ve made any real progress.
Start with a list of assumptions, as they are where critical thinking begins. What do you think about where the economy is going in the coming year? Will interest rates rise? Will I need additional help? What product lines will contribute the most profit? Which products are no longer contributing?
Divide your assumptions into three scenarios:
- A bad year
- A good year
- The best year ever.
The purpose of making assumptions is to shape your aspirations and to set objectives for the best scenario you can envision. Above all else, be yourself, and don’t worry if someone doesn’t like you or what you are doing, as most people are struggling to like themselves.
In building your budget, use the assumptions to handle surprises if there is a future shock, Even in good times, there will be challenges to manage like losing a critical customer or employee as competition intensifies.
You’ become more vulnerable when you overestimate positives when they never materialise, and you’re trying to be too aggressive in profit and growth potential,
Scenario planning can minimise future shock.
When you have completed your plan, do some scenarios. Reduce revenues by 20% and then increase expenses by 20%. Become prudent in your forecasts. A margin on both your revenue and expenses expectations will help you through any future shock, whereas a 30% fall in revenue could see you out of business if you don’t have the necessary reserves.
Take time to consider your revenue dropping by 80% in a drought, flood or fire. Understand your proposed cash flow budget, profit and loss statement and balance sheet, and the implications a future shock might have. Never assume you are too small. or too large to be adversely impacted.
New solutions are not necessarily better than old solutions.
When a solution is known, it doesn’t mean it is well utilised, and it doesn’t mean it is a good one. Don’t assume a new solution is needed if you want to make real progress; it isn’t always the case. Progress often hides behind boring old solutions and underused insights.
You don’t need more information; you don’t need a better strategy, put in the effort, act and do more of what already works.
We tend to undervalue the answers to the problems we have already discovered. We underutilise old solutions, even if they are best practices because they seem like something we have already considered.
Make it an objective to help shape and direct digital technology to help minimise the impact of a future shock. If you have any doubts about the coming year, take time to seek practical advice and put your mind at rest. The last thing you and your family want is to be continually worrying about the year ahead and how you will set yourself up for the future.
Beating future shock might be as simple as changing how you start each day.
How did your typical day start last year and how do you propose to change it this year?
Most people won’t go anywhere near achieving their goals for this year. Why? Well, they need to get up earlier, and they need to learn new skills and gather better and more practical information and knowledge while introducing new systems and processes. That would make a good start.
Most people have low levels of self-belief, which comes from accepting the status quo of a mediocre society, favouring risk-avoidance and comfort over learning and growth. If you have time, no, make time to read the book by Alvin Toffler called “Future Shock”.
Most people have difficulties when it comes to setting priorities and consistent daily routines. If you can’t do something consistently, you probably won’t ever succeed at it. If progress is to be made consistency is fundamentally necessary.
The future shock will make achieving your goals much harder. They will take time, effort, practice, and you will face more failures until finally, you make some progress. Everything will start to work in your favour, that is until you become complacent and settle back into your old habits.
“Most people drift through life without devoting much energy to figuring out specifically what they want and what they need to do to take themselves there”. Darren Hardy
“We often waste resources, processes and ideas at our fingertips simply because they don’t seem new and exciting”. Peter Sergeant