Time to Change for the Future

The only thing that is constant in reality is the fact that it will always be subject to change. That bit of knowledge is obvious and practically anyone with half a brain already knows it to be the case. However, what is less known is precisely how reality will change. So few people accurately know what to expect in the coming years that having such knowledge will bestow an excess of competitive advantage upon the one that knows. 

So why don’t organizations spend the time and resources necessary to become prescient? Is it because ignorance is bliss? Perhaps. But, in this scenario, it’s more likely that the time and resources necessary to gain such knowledge is simply not available for most businesses (especially for small businesses). That being the case, the best you can aim for is to hedge your bets and protect against any and all possible change without assuming one future-reality is any more or less likely to manifest than any other: Future-Proofing.

So how to Future-Proof? 

Find More Baskets for Your Eggs

There’s a reason why it’s common advice to never “keep your eggs in one basket”. More baskets means more protection against the possibility of any one basket being dropped, or stolen, or malfunctioning. Your eggs are your resources, and your baskets are the different parts of your business. Putting all your resources into just one part of your business is akin to tempting the Devil of Change to come in and rob you of all your eggs. 

Never Forget and Always Learn

“Dwell on the past and you’ll lose an eye. But forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes”. This quote reminds us that looking at your past actions and results can be difficult but that it’s better than the alternative. In the context of business, making a detailed analysis of what the results were in relation to your past strategies may end up leaving you a bit embarrassed at all your past failures. However, if this ghost of the past is not faced honestly with courage and integrity, then it will be sure to haunt you in the future and take away any chance you had of Future-Proofing your business (since you haven’t even “Past-Proofed” it!).

Don’t Ignore Your Fortune-Tellers

If you run a business, then you have a host of fortune-tellers just waiting to update your expectations for the future. Who are they? Employees, and customers. Knowledge of the feelings and thoughts of these two groups is the key to being able to make better guesses as to what will happen to your business if you continue with the status quo and also how you might want to change business operations in relation to this newfound knowledge. Of course, if you are a CEO then this might be the hardest thing for you to do: to listen and be responsive to the feedback of those who are underneath you in your organization’s hierarchy. However, such an ego-check is absolutely essential if the aim is long term sustainable growth.