While leading a large organization earlier in my career, one practice that I put in place on an annual basis was to engage the services of an economist to brief the senior team and me on the major economic and demographic current and future trends in the country. The major purpose of this exercise was to help the senior leadership team lead and strategize with the future in mind. This ensured our plans were not only leveraging current trends but enabled us to better position ourselves for the future. This specialist was also engaged to write a monthly economic brief for our team and our clients. This regular reporting and update ensured we did not miss a step as we planned for the future.
Leading with a future-forward bent has always been a valued leadership approach and in 2020 it has become increasingly more important. The speed at which we are moving today requires us to stay more current and in tune with broader economic trends that will soon be on our doorstep. In fact, I have long witnessed and experienced this myself, that the more leaders keep forward-thinking in mind, the better we become at leading and navigating the change that is required – most likely due to the fact that you need an open mind to do both well.
Here are some ways to keep yourself focused and ready for the future:
- Ask critically important questions
- Learn about other business lines and geographies
- Broaden your network
- Take creative risks
- Kick tires and experiment
- Loosen control
- Read, research and observe – become a student of your own business
- Engage with outside experts
- Eliminate unnecessary hierarchy to keep ideas flowing
- Set aside time for FUTURE THINKING
As we close out this year, now is a perfect time to reflect on whether you are proactively leading future-forward or if you are still playing catch-up in 2020? Think about how you might adopt some of the above tactics as you prepare for 2021.
I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. LEAD WELL!