THE FUTURE  A Short Guide to Getting There in One Piece

THE FUTURE A Short Guide to Getting There in One Piece

 Setting Expectations

It’s clear to me that 2021 will be better for all of us if our expectations remain low and hope silently high.  I advise senior leaders – so my baseline for everything is built on what I expect them to want and need. I’ve been lucky that many of them are indeed conscious, but I believe (post-2020) they must supercharge it.

Intelligent operations that can perpetually reinvent are going to mean everything in 2021. To survive and win a business has no alternative but to learn faster and execute better than its competition.

Strategically the operation must be prepared. It requires many skills and talents but inspirational leadership and vision sitting on a fully connected interdependent operation are mandatory.

Operationally the future business will need two super-powers – enterprise creativity and hyper-awareness. The table stakes will be rigorous market research, data analytical skills, rapid prototyping – testing and learning.

Real success will demand distinctly better insight into customers, a dynamic serving of services and delivery and mastery of the routes to them – blue water between them and the competitors…,  to market and communicate more effectively than the competitors and have the patience to stay with all of the above until it works. 

We Are Being Boiled Alive – The Boiling Frog Syndrome

I wish there was a better word to express that idea. Over a period of time (a long time), we’ve not noticed the uncomfortable and creeping heat. We’ve come to assume it was just the way things are.  We’ve been unable to voice a feeling – then boom – we are overtaken by an apocalypse. This mess didn’t just happen.  Here we are, trapped by a catastrophic current reality.., an overnight shock that took decades and we did nothing about it. This at a time when we need to be unconstrained in order to grasp any future.

A Becoming

I think thoughtful people thrive on change or they stagnate. I believe all people are born more thoughtful and creative than they think. Sadly I also believe they were more thoughtful to begin with than they’ve become. It frustrates me hugely but only proved itself more and more during 2020.

2020 – a year of suffocating sameness and catastrophic upheaval for the majority. Everyone called on to dig deep, to summon superhuman effort and stay focused on the hope that it will end.  It took creativity, patience and courage – it was a boot-camp for our mindsets.

2020 didn’t just happen. As I’ve said – the culmination of generations of stuckness. When struggling with situations we are forced to be creative and think to survive.

Personal disadvantage often results in individual ingenuity. Profound writing, great art and music – individual acts of invention and collective business innovations emerge through crises.


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About the Author

John CaswellIn 2001 he formed Group Partners in response to the strategic void — a scary hole in how business worked. Strategy is the word he uses to describe plans for change and transformation. He created a global consultancy based in Structured Visual Thinking™ — a collaborative and visual technique for creating strategy and plans. Designed as the antidote to the countess uninspiring and traditional methods for building the right plans for the future.

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