In this age of exponential growth and innovation, we are all at risk of being disrupted by new competitors and new business models. Yet most of us are driving into the future spending more time looking through the rearview mirror than through the windshield. But what if you could anticipate the future? What kind of partner program would you develop? What kind of partners would you recruit? What kind of competitive edge would that give you?
This week’s guest, Daniel Burrus, is a technology futurist, best-selling author of The Anticipatory Organization, and founder of Burrus Research. I have a fascinating conversation with Daniel as he shares how you can predict the future by studying and categorizing trends. Learn how you can create an anticipatory channel organization that will enable you to disrupt instead of being disrupted.
Types of Trends
- All trends fit into one of two categories; hard trends and soft trends.
- A hard trend is based on absolute certainty. The advantage is that you can see it coming, which lets you turn that change into opportunity.
- A soft trend is based on an assumption about the future. The advantage is that you can influence the soft trend in a positive way if you do not like where it is headed.
Becoming an Anticipatory Channel Organization
- Start by asking yourself, what are all the things you are certain about and uncertain about? What are the things that you know will happen? What are the future facts? What are the hard trends shaping the future?
- Once you’ve looked at the future of your organization and you identify the hard trends and opportunities, think about the predictable problems that you, your partners, and your key customers will have. How can you anticipate these and pre-solve them?
- Narrow down your list to the low hanging fruit. Pick one or two that wouldn’t take long to accomplish yet will have a big payoff. Then make it happen. If it can be done, it will be done. And if you don’t do it, someone else will. The risk now is not doing it.
- Be sure that when you’re pitching your initiatives internally for funding that you use more facts and less opinion. Be sure to share the cost of saying no before you even get an answer. Make the no dimensional. It’s not just about money spent or loss of competitive clout. It’s loss of brand, loss of customers, and loss of market share.