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Stefan Kazakis on 16 March 2019

In last week’s message, I made the point that brutal truth must be a core value of your business that is applied to every decision you make.

I emphasize this point today because as we enter a rather uncertain economic environment, you must be applying brutal truth to all your decisions to ensure your business is prepared to weather any storm and make the most of any opportunity.

So today I want to discuss how important it is to anticipate the future needs of your business in order to stay ahead of the curve in changing market conditions.

Anticipation

Anticipation in business is about being curious. It’s about being sceptical. It’s about going to the edge and saying, are we flying or dying? It’s about reading the data and the dynamics, understanding how we are going, anticipating the needs of the market and doing something about it.

This is business, and you have a product or service that is a solution to somebody’s problem – it’s your job to make sure it stays that way.

To anticipate the future needs of your business you must evaluate yourself, your team, and your suppliers, thoroughly and often. Are they +1 or –1? There is no in-between.

Where are you vs where could you be? Where are you in the market? And what are you doing about it if you’re not where you want to be?

The world is always changing and people are always changing – as a business leader you must be on top of this. This is not about changing every day, this is about anticipating changes and where you are going.

Have a think about your machines and teams – where are they now and where are they going? This is critical to your long-term success and your success today.

If you are anticipating where you are going over the next three to five years and you are making well-informed decisions about this, you are going to be okay. You must be strategic about this. You can’t be in denial about what is going on.

Remember, it’s about brutal truth.

Next, examine your supply chain. How is it working for you now, and how well will it serve you in the future? Are you and your suppliers working productively together to achieve common goals, or are relationships adversarial? Are they growing with you? Are they aware of your plans for the next two, five and ten years, and are they keen to come along for the ride? Can they meet your future needs?

Next, examine the people you need. The key is the quality of the people, not the quantity. You need the right people doing the right things right, today and tomorrow.

You have to do things now. If your analysis shows you must move, you have to move now. Planning plus alignment plus execution today leads to growth tomorrow.

Acceleration

Acceleration is critical. Acceleration based on fear is trouble, but based on fact, analysis and opportunity it will equal positive results.

You must be seizing the moment.

This is about anticipation – what’s in it for the client? Ensure there is a personal element. Business is about selling, which is about producing value for the person buying. It’s not about your mum saying this rocks. "What’s in it for me" from the client’s perspective is what’s important.

It can’t be that you’ve convinced yourself of a pie-in-the-sky idea. This is about people doing business with people. It’s about having a well-thought-out strategy and alignment in your organisation.

Aggregation

Aggregating is about bringing it all together. You must have everybody doing their bit towards the common goal of where you are going. You must make a difference.

Your resilience must be high. The level of grit and determination in your team must be high. You must have integrity, intelligence and maturity. The more emotional intelligence you have around this, the better off you will be. Then you won’t feel like you are rolling the dice every day.

You must see blind spots before they arrive. You must bring an A-grade team in that will see things from an objective point of view. You must surround yourself with better people, and continually be adding more talent, both external and internal.

Getting a clearer view of what is out there and anticipating the future ensures your business is prepared to respond to a changing market.

History is littered with examples of businesses who have failed to adequately anticipate the future and suffered because of it; from Blockbuster turning down an offer to buy Netflix, to Kodak "inventing" digital photography yet squandering many opportunities to adapt their business accordingly... the list goes on.

Be sure to learn the lessons from history. Stay ahead of the game by anticipating changes in the market and understanding the future needs of your business. Ensure you adapt your business accordingly with brutal truth in your decision making.

Power to you this week!

Stefan Kazakis

Founder, CEO - Business Benchmark Group

 


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