The Pace of Change is requiring you and your staff to maintain a constant awareness of the marketplace. It is necessary to have your antennae attuned to every opportunity.
For twenty plus years I was in the radio business. As a sales person, sales manager, general manager, and owner I couldn’t go into any environment in my community where I wasn’t constantly aware of the advertising that was going on. Advertising revenue drove the success of our business so I was always watching, listening and perusing the media for who was advertising where. Too frequently I would ask why isn’t this advertiser using our audience.
Today every business owner needs to have this type of receiver scanning to gather and collect information on their competition and the environmental changes that might affect their business.
How do you do this? Why is this so important?
First you need to understand that as human beings we are equipped with the ability to recognize changes. In fact the number one capability of our brains is pattern recognition. The problem is that if we only see a pattern once a year or less frequently we are unable to distinguish the patterns that are occurring.
Interject the Strategic Discipline of Meeting Rhythms and suddenly you begin to appreciate the value of collecting customer and employee feedback on a weekly basis. Weekly meetings provide the receptor to engage your people in discussions and collection on what they are hearing, seeing, feeling in the market and with their fellow employees.
Most of us are capable of getting out of the way of an approaching semi if we are in the street and the truck is several blocks away. If you see your meeting rhythms and the customer and employee feedback agenda from the our weekly Rockefeller Habits meetings as this semi heading toward you then you can avert any potential disasters in plenty of time. Consequently the positives you hear can also offer opportunities. The key is to recognize the patterns as they emerge.
The book Strategic Learning points out there is a point where the signal [opportunity or threat] is strongest and thus is most often too late. Picking up a signal when it is obvious to everyone else gives you no advantage. You want to sharpen your antennae to capture weak signals, so that you have time to decide on the best course of action.
You need a system that captures signals like these so you can be in advance of your competition and the marketplace. We teach our coaching clients that the two indispensible keys to leadership are forecasting and delegating.
The horse that wins is often no more than a few tenths of a second faster than its nearest competitor. The advantage you can have by being first to recognize the signals in the marketplace can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Has your business developed the discipline for meeting rhythms in order to capture this key capability of the human mind? Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winning Hungarian bio-chemist heralded, “Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” You must recognize the critical importance of developing insights earlier and better than your competition. It’s just one of the five “killer competencies” to building an adaptive enterprise that thrives in the current fast pace environment.
We’ll review these Five Killer Competencies from Strategic Learning in my next blog.