13 March 2010

Creating the Future--Even in Difficult Times Part 2

"Assessing—Not Predicting"

Creating the future is no longer based on probability.

Old: What is most likely to happen?

New: What has already happened to create the future? What are the facts as we know them to be? What do they mean to our business? What opportunities are created that match up well with us? (Peter Drucker)

Predicting is a difficult undertaking. We still don’t have flying cars, orbiting space cities or endless time. People and social phenomena make it hard to predict. Status quo is slower to change than most realize.

“If you predict for a living, you have to predict often.” (Neils Bohr, the late Danish physicist)

How to assess? By asking good questions.

• Looking externally at current and prospective customers

• Looking at the edges where change often occurs, first

• Looking internally to operations

Some examples of a changing landscape:

• Jobs (how people work and earn a living)

• Frugality linked with value—even among higher income households (consumer is 70% of the economy)

• Smaller—not larger businesses

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