Why wait for change to happen to you?

Anticipate and lead for what's to come.
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Anticipating Change

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Most of us recognize the difference between leading and managing change. While both are necessary to successfully operate in or implement change, leading change involves an element of anticipation. Anticipating change means leaders have enough foresight and information to know what is likely to happen, strategize, and guide the larger team to success, in preparation for the pending shifts.

All Signs Point To Change

Consider the case of digital vs. film photography. One of the largest brands in the photography world failed to read the digital writing on the wall and fell a decade behind the revolution, almost putting the company out of business. Leaders in the company were presented with evidence to suggest digital as the future of photography but resisted pivoting toward the change. Instead, they chose to double-down on efforts to maintain control of a dying film-based market.

Maintaining the status quo rarely results in a positive outcome. Anticipating and leading toward change does not mean we have to completely abandon a strategy or reinvent ourselves every few years. It does mean paying attention and using data to help us make decisions and take appropriate action. The world is constantly changing. The ability to get in front of change that is predicted to impact our industry will determine our level of success when the next change hits.

Follow The Clues

Put It All Together

Consider all the clues. What change is on the horizon and likely to impact your organization? In what ways is your current strategy aligned to what’s ahead? What gaps exist that, if filled, will set the organization up for success when the change hits? In light of the anticipated change, what do you intuitively know you and the team should do? Write it down. It might even be risky. If the evidence and your gut point toward the change, listen and prepare.

Check in with Stakeholders

Schedule time each quarter to connect with a few external stakeholders. Ask for feedback and perceptions about the organization’s progress. Directly ask if there are any trends to which you should be paying close attention.

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