Anticipate and Act



"Predicting rain doesn't count. Building arks does."- Warren Buffett

Over the years I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time with experienced leaders, people who've been running businesses for a long time. Most of those people have seen and learned a lot over their careers, and while most of them wouldn't admit it, they usually have a pretty good feel for what's coming next.

While I've always been impressed by their intuition and their experience, what really stands out to me is how many of them have a pretty good idea of what's coming and then don't do anything about it. Leaders tell me they see some kind of change in the marketplace, or in technology, or in people, and then a few years later, sure enough they were right. And yet they did nothing to prepare.

Think about your business. What do you really expect to see over the next 3 years? What will your industry look like in terms of products? In terms of customers? How will you reach those customers? What kind of technology or innovation is either here or will be here shortly that will seriously disrupt what you do? What will be your needs in terms of people? How will you meet those needs?

Think about those questions and answer them- but don't stop with that. What are you actually going to do about it? If you're overwhelmed, then start small. What's the low hanging fruit? What small things do we know we could do that would have an impact? Don't let yourself be intimidated by the hundreds of things you could do. Decide what you will do and focus your energy on that.

Make sure you have a clear plan and make sure you build in some accountability. It's easy to go off the rails and lose focus. Get somebody involved who can keep you on track. Then get started making change.


Article reproduced with the kind permission of Matt Heemstra.

Matt is a director of Cain Ellsworth & Co. LLP, USA.

For over fifteen years he has worked with small and mid-size businesses, helping them to envision their future and then make it happen.

Matt heads up Growth & Profit Solutions (GPS), a division of Cain Ellsworth.