It’s that time of year again. It creeps up on you, and before you know it you enter the time when you’re juggling finishing one quarter or year while simulatenously planning for the next. Same questions always arise: should you copy the winning way of today or try something new and different? Which strategies, which technologies, which products and services, and which organisational design will be the winning ones going forward? Knowing the unknowable has always been the greatest challenge of any team and/or company. Deciding how to prepare for the future is a lot more complicated than simply analysing the marketplace and the competitive environment. "Forecasting is like trying to drive a car blindfolded and following directions given by a person who is looking out of the back window", or so the clichè goes. It calls for for a blend of analysis, experience, synthesis, judgment, and just plain gut feel – a nihilistic approach (put a few bright people in a dark room, pour in some money, and hope that something wonderful will happen) simply isn’t enough. To prepare for tomorrow, you need to spend more time looking at the horizon. Ask what you, your team, and your company will and must do differently, and care less about how next year will be. The future will not just happen (and budgets be met) if you wish hard enough. It requires decisions – now. It imposes risk – now. It requires action, allocation of resources, and above all, human resources. Now. Good luck and safe journey. You can do it!
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