So your leadership team has recognized that you’re stuck in a rut…maybe a really, really deep one…and they’re finally ready to talk (probably to talk again) about changing in order to become more effective. And this time there is a chance that it could actually happen. But you’re immediately faced with a choice. Should you be shooting for a new idea that will actually make the future happen? Or would it be more productive to simply look for "the future that has already happened" around you and exploit it?
Peter Drucker talked about the idea that all around us are new patterns and trends that are an indication that the world has already changed. In a sense, that the future is already here. The opportunity, Drucker would say, is in identifying those new patterns and trends that are all around you but are not yet in your organization. Once you’ve begun to see them all around you, then you can begin to capitalize on them; to exploit them.
Admittedly, the challenge for some of us is that we’re operating in organizations that believe, at least to a degree, that all of the new patterns and trends in society and the culture around us are evidence that the end is near! But the truth is, much of what is changing is no different than the shift that happened when the automobile began to replace the horse and buggy. Need an eye-opener? What happened to the demand for whips?
This kind of change and its implications are all around us. Our organizations are sitting within striking distance of significant opportunity if we will recognize the changes, new patterns and trends around us and then act to exploit it. But first, you’ve got to be able to see the changes! For more on the idea, check out my earlier post on identifying the future that has already happened. Or you can order Looking Ahead: Implications of the Present, a great collection of articles on the topic. Either way, this is a project that needs to be a priority.