If your organization is to achieve long-term success you must determine how to satisfy the needs of clients in this ever-changing world. A proactive strategy positions you to meet the future with confidence. Take time to look into the future, understand what you are seeing and act to realize what you desire.
Look into the future
Make regular appointments to study what futurists, such as the World Future Society, have to say. Review trends in demographics, technology, social behaviours, economics, governments and the environment to answer key questions on how:
- Will the needs and desires of our primary customers change?
- Other demographics will have needs we can fulfill?
- Are social attitudes and behaviours changing?
- Changes in technology will provide an advantage for us?
- Technology will be embraced by our customers embrace and how quickly?
- Our competitors changing?
- The economy might change?
- Will the environment change and how will people react?
Understand your future
All strategy regarding the future is based on the foundation of your mission and values. Be honest about your recent successes and shortfalls in order to identify your key strengths and weaknesses. Review what you have learned about the future and:
- Write a story, as if for the media, about the important successes of your organization, dated five years in the future.
- Set it aside for a few days and then share it with someone you trust.
- Together, review the story and extract the most important and exciting elements.
- In the context of your mission answer what:
- Will be the products and services offered to our top 20% of customers?
- Might be our critical roles and the required central knowledge and skills?
- Operational and management processes will we execute?
- Technologies will we use extensively?
- Ways will we innovate?
- Will we abandon?
- Does this mean to employees, clients and community?
Realize your future
- Create long-term, five-year objectives.
- For each objective work backward to outline short-term, specific measurable goals for each year.
- Assign a champion to lead the execution of each goal.
- Develop and share monthly milestones as you move forward. Ensure time is set aside for weekly actions to accomplish these milestones.
- Schedule monthly meetings to review successes, shortfalls and provide guidance.
- Celebrate successes and address shortfalls.
As your leadership team accomplishes their goals your organization will create its future, reaching what was once considered unachievable success.