Will you create your future, or wither away?
Leadership author and speaker Steven Bowman says that to become a “pragmatic futurist” you need to learn to recognise future opportunities and prepare to shape them to your advantage right now.
That means being aware of and understanding what’s going on around you, but not accepting it unquestioningly.
“What if it was different? What could I do that’s different? It’s about not buying into what other people are saying – that space is where true innovation happens," he says.
What most organisations need to start looking at (but many don't) is:
* What is the future likely to be for us, five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now?
* What do I need to put in place to leverage off what might be potentially happening in 5 or 10 years?
* What are the different things I can do to turn this to my advantage?
Being proactive and looking to stay ahead of the curve is key to survival.
"One of the biggest trends is an increasing focus on innovation these days but most people don’t understand what innovation means," he says.
According to Bowman, innovation means looking at something and saying:
What else can I add to this?
How else might I do it?
What difference is this making in people’s lives?
What can I start developing now to address some of those issues?
What else can I change, what can I add?
Organisations that ask these questions are able to create a niche market for themselves and essentially futureproof the business.
"Most businesses that ignore this are going to disappear over the next five to six years."