STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
Leaders anticipate. Losers react.
Your biggest challenge in today’s environment is anticipation.
As a professional, you need to worry about more than just how your company currently operates — you need to look ahead to how you’ll perform in the future. The more you can anticipate the changing needs of your clients, your employees and the economy, the better prepared you are to take on any challenges that come your way.
Here are seven triggers that you must routinely evaluate.
TRIGGER-1: CHANGE IN COMPETITION
You might be offering more value than your current competitors, but are you keeping an eye out for emerging companies? It’s the people in garages that disrupt the giants.
For example, consider the initial appeal of Air Deccan. If you were operating an airline, you might have had a devoted following and offered superior products when compared to your top competitor. However, you weren’t aware a company like AirDeccan would come blow out the whole industry.
TRIGGER 2: A CHANGE IN TECHNOLOGY
How do you prepare for this? You may be at the very top-end of technology but it may be obsolete over night. VHS tapes to DVDs to Streaming. The next may be 3D to Virtual Reality real Time Theatre. Who knows?
Have you thought about how you will use technology to create the next value chain for your customers? If not, then be ready to be disrupted by those who have.
TRIGGER 3: A CHANGE IN CULTURE
What culture are you catering to. What does that culture value? What do people pay money for, and why? How is this culture different from yesterday and what will it evolve to tomorrow?
A decade and a half ago, airline travel wasn’t for everyone.A decade ago families went out to movies together to bond. Today they stream.A decade ago owning your first car was an emotional high. Today the millennials UBER it.A decade ago, shopping meant a day out. Today it means 30 minutes online.
Are you able to anticipate the future white spaces and provide the next generation of value?
TRIGGER 4: A CHANGE IN THE ECONOMY
Is your business heavily dependent on economic trends? Economy will fluctuate. There will be periods of recession and growth, no matter your industry. How can you prepare yourself for these inevitable changes?
Do you have value planned for when people don’t want to spend?
TRIGGER 5: A CHANGE IN YOUR CLIENTS’ LIVES
Your customers lives change. Does your offering change to accommodate that?
For example your customers may get married, have children and now they need only one of your products instead of two. Are your offerings monitoring changes in customers lives. Are you too busy focusing inwards?
TRIGGER 6: A CHANGE IN EMPLOYEES’ LIVES
Similarly, the lives of your employees are going to change. Things happen in life — babies are born, people get married, some will battle health scares. Or maybe a key staff member unexpectedly leaves the company.
If you rely too closely on one employee, or neglect the needs of a department, it’s not going to work. Is your company institutionalising the strengths or centralising them with ‘people’.
TRIGGER 7: A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE STAGE AS A LEADER
As much as one may want to deny - There will come a day when you need to step back from work and hand the reins over to someone else. Is that someone else ready? Are you conveniently believing that that day is far away. how do you know? A lack of an immediate succession plan has ruined countless businesses. Are you taking that risk too?
People who succeed at creating highest level of innovations and transformations are not lucky. They’re doing something differently than everyone else. They are surely ahead of these seven triggers.