What if we stopped predicting the future and instead, strived for infinite business agility?
This January, countless technology and business predictions are being made by the obvious pundits, but, interestingly, it seems nearly every leader feels it is necessary to weigh in on how the future will unfold. I assume a lot of research, thought, wisdom, and time is spent making such suggestions since Twitter and LinkedIn are filled with them.
What if we stopped acting like we can predict the future like Nostradamus, and, instead, strive for infinite business agility?
Year after year, we find that the truly impactful business challenges and opportunities sneak up on us. We have shown ourselves to be terrible predictors and seers. Even with predictive analytics, big data, econometric modeling, quantitative and qualitative analyses, and early-stage AI forecasting, we often miss very big things. Case in point, all things COVID. Or perhaps the 2008 financial crisis and housing bubble. Even events as mundane as the release of quarterly economic figures almost always include the words “unexpectedly” and “surprisingly.”
The time and money we spend on predictions should be repurposed to deploying modern-day operating models that strive for infinite agility. This work is not nearly as fun as predicting mega-trends, business disruptions, and paradigm shifts, but it is meaningful and foundational to enduring companies.
Business and technology priorities for 2023 should be based on primary and secondary plans. How quickly and effectively a company can shift between plans is the measure of organizational agility. The key is having all the organizational gears unified across business goals, skills, operations, supply chains, and technology. In all cases, an organization only moves as fast as its slowest gear.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said “In the new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish; it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish.” Clearly inspired by Darwin’s thoughts, Schwab understands what’s necessary for business survival.
BlueHour strives for infinite agility instead of worrying about what the future has in store for us. The hard work is to get people, processes, and technology to operate in unison—that is a challenge worthy of your time and investment. No slow gears.
In truth, Nostradamus made predictions that were so vague and cryptic that many historians suggest they had no real meaning. Even Nostradamus, apparently, was no Nostradamus.