We all attempt to predict the future. We typically make decisions based on our personal history or based on inputs from trusted sources. “I am not going to use this highway because it is always slow during rush hour.” “I am not going to give my boss a project update because she does not like bad news.” Our predictions are typically based on history; other prediction tools are not used as much.
Remember Kodak? In the early 1980s Fuji started selling film at a lower cost than Kodak ultimately resulting in a layoff of almost 20,000 employees in 1999 (Kodak stock peaked at about $80 per share in 1999). The final straw for Kodak was digital imagery. In spite of being number two in digital cameras in 1999 Kodak seemed to be unable (or unwilling?) to adapt. Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. Changing conditions and predictable events are largely responsible for Kodak’s troubles.
Changing conditions in the steel industry (mini-mils), auto industry (fuel efficient cars, process innovation), and the computer industry (miniaturization and mobile computing) are examples that in many ways parallel the Kodak experience. Changing conditions (typically due to new technologies) that are well known and DO NOT result in overnight changes. You can indeed predict your future!
Are events external to your organization going to disrupt your business? How would you answer the following questions?
1. Has the world changed and how will that affect my business?
2. How can we take advantage of the opportunities created by the changes we have identified?
3. Do we have the resources needed to take advantage of the opportunities we have identified?
4. Is our organization creating and/or building the resources needed to be successful today and tomorrow?