Do you know the key questions in determining the difference between those who perform and those who don’t?  According to Ram Charan, author of  Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t there are 8 major questions.  We took a look at the first question earlier.  Here’s the second question:

"Are you able to pinpoint external change by detecting patterns ahead of others and put your business on the offensive?"

Now, before you get all excited, let’s debug any false notion that this isn’t applicable to all of us.  It is totally applicable!  No matter the business you think you’re in, you must be in aware of what’s going on around you!  If you want to be effective, and we all do, you’ve got to pay attention to what’s happening in the world around you.  The problem for some of us, is that we think the idea is to remain absolutely consistent with what we’ve always done…until the end of time!  And nothing could be further from the truth!  Oh sure, we need to be consistent on the vision.  But not the strategy!

So…the question is, are you watching for new patterns in the culture that point to something different than you are designed to deal with?  Need a for instance?  Maybe you’re designed to meet the needs of a customer that no longer exists.  For example, your major program is only offered in a format that takes two hours to participate…in a world where Tivo is the norm.

Recognizing External Change