Maybe you saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.  Maybe you just noticed the warmer weather this summer or the seemingly more violent hurricane season last year.  Or maybe, you picked up John Kotter’s great new book, Our Iceberg Is Melting and thought it was about the environment!  No matter where you are on the global warming continuum, we’re all at least amatuer ecologists.  But in our business, we all need to become more proficient at observing and prognosticating on the ecosystem that is our business.

Follow me on this.  No matter what business you’re in, it has an ecosystem.   It has a way of operating.  It has a "collection of components and processes that comprise and govern its behavior."  And no ecosystem is immune from change.  The question is, where are you on the clue-phone continuum?  How observant are you?  How aware are you of the beginnings of change?  Are you tuned in?  Or the last to know that the iceberg is melting?

No matter where you are on the clue-phone continuum, this set of questions from The Daily Drucker will be a great addition to your routine.   

  • What changes have already happened that do not fit ‘what everybody knows’?
  • What are the ‘paradign changes’?
  • Is there any evidence that this is a change and not a fad?
  • If this change is relevant and meaningful, what opportunities does it offer?

Just think about the power of the first question alone!  You know how it is when you’re scratching your head wondering why the way it always used to work no longer works.  Or when the idea that worked so well in the 90s no longer does the same thing.  What changes have already happened that do not fit what everybody knows?   

Becoming an Ecologist
  • Now an energy company in Scotland is paying for thousands of schoolchildren to see An Inconvenient Truth. There may be more wannabe ecologists there. Read more here