It’s tough to be out there in the market right now. It does not matter if you are the CEO of a billion dollar global organization - or  are managing a 10 person shop offering the window cleaning services for the high rises in the neighbourhood.

One simple search on Google will bring up hundreds of articles/ blogs full of all kinds of advices and prescriptions - from management gurus, economists, professors, journalists - basically anyone with a point of view on the subject. And most of these are relevant, well researched, accurate and  well meaning.

But make no mistake about it - much as these are “insights” into (and for) the future, they are also in the HINDSIGHT. And hindsight as you know, is usually the right-sight!

To put it differently, is it possible for us to bank on the past to reliably predict future outcomes?

Businesses of all types and sizes, have traditionally relied on the analysis of the past data to predict future trends. The bigger you are, bigger your staff teams of analysts, consultants, marketers and accountants -churning out reams of reports and slides - dishing out the best and worst scenarios for the executives to plan the business.

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Most of our current management thinking is also well steeped into this reality -  institutions such as business schools and Fortune firms breed and train brilliant analysts/ strategists thriving on the past (and the availability of) data.

And that’s partly the reason why most of us are feeling like the deer caught in the headlights in the current market scenario.

To be sure, businesses still need the best practices and other management tools & techniques as we head into a new phase - but what we need most in the current situation is what I call as the “Forward Thinking”.

And as any entrepreneur (or anyone with that bent of mind) will tell you - forward thinking is tough.  How tough - the events unfolding around us for the past many months have given us some good hints.

Forward thinking does not mean that you need to switch to the tarrot cards to run your business!  What it means though is that all bets are off. You will have to take many decisions that have no precedence, no hard data & analysis to draw support from - and even if you are left feeling a little cold, vulnerable and out on a limb - you will have to still make a call, press ahead and execute.

Forward thinking also means that the much vaunted data driven thinking becomes but an input to largely a seat-of-the-pants/ intuition based model - with a very strong emphasis on the execution.

And this new normal is mostly about courage, emotional fortitude and an appetite for handling tremendous amount of uncertainty.

If you are an entrepreneur - this might seem very familiar to you. And this might be indeed the time for the “entrepreneur type” to get into the corner office and steer the business. I do believe that Businesses/ Institutions, that have made huge investments in building the entrepreneurial talent and culture in the past will thrive - while many others that have not - will flounder, and many will completely disappear from the marketplace if they don’t get the right people at the top fast enough.

Many have spoken of the new world order in the past - and the need for transforming ourselves to be prepared for that.

Well, it’s now or never. The operating model just changed from “aim-ready-shoot” to “shoot-shoot-shoot”!

Welcome to the new world of business.

Tags: global economy, management

4 Responses to “Shoot-Shoot-Shoot!”

  1. Fly Without Wings » Blog Archive » Successful Product Introduction (2): Forward Thinking says:

    [...] Which brings me to Pointer # 1 for Successful New Product Introductions: “Forward Thinking.” [...]

  2. [...] of my earlier posts, I have written extensively about concept of Forward Thinking - which points exactly to this capability as a qualification for an organization to be able to [...]

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