Leading and operating a business can be rewarding and at the same time very challenging. Not adjusting to the new environment or simply being unaware of other possibilities accounts for many business failures. Great organizations are crippled by leaders who refuse to be aware of the new hyper-change world and not choosing to invest in future possibilities.
Too many businesses fail to consciously invest in their futures, instead placing priority on short-term gain. Short-term success is vitally important, where problems arise is when business leaders are only focusing on the next few weeks or the next 12 months. This means racing from one crisis to the next. These businesses may be placing their success at risk if they only structure their businesses to deal with the immediate present and fail to create strategy for the future.
It is essential to never assume that the future will be an extension of today or be similar to what you currently have. The future must be built and created with strategic awareness. The best way to create a sustainable future is to choose to become the custodian of your business’s future.
A sustainable future must be consciously created day by day to create different possibilities that you’ve never been willing to have before. You can choose to be the source for creating a different future by being in curiosity of the possibilities and choices you have. What if there were many different possibilities for creating the future for your business far greater than the one you currently have?
One of the easiest and generative ways to create a sustainable future for your business, is to develop both short term strategy and future strategy. Every day brings new surprises and new possibilities. Preparing for the future is essential if you are to take full advantage of the myriad opportunities and different possibilities that lie ahead.
To seize these new opportunities and possibilities, business leaders must be willing to challenge traditional perceptions. That means being able to let go of traditional beliefs, points of view, assumptions, and practices created in and by the past that would otherwise become a barrier between your business of today and your future possibilities. You must be willing to break with your own successful conventional practices and discover different ways of seeing the world.
All you need to know is that if you haven’t been investing in your future, then there is a different option available. The good news: you can create your own future. Better yet, you can do it simply and consciously as part of your everyday life. What if it is truly possible to be aware of future possibilities and to know what is necessary in the future? Have you cultivated that capacity yet?
To create a sustainable future start with these five keys:
- Your future is something you create with your choices. Be aware of what your choices will create. Every choice you make determines what your future can be. So, when you make a choice, recognize what limitations or possibilities are being generated with that choice. Your choices from the state of consciousness will create a different possibility for the future that you haven’t even considered possible. Ask “What choices can I make today which will create a different possibility in the future?”
- Use the power of your strategic awareness to create the future. Strategic awareness is a space where new ideas and innovation are constantly generated from an expanded zone of awareness. Your expanded zone of awareness will enable you to take advantage of opportunities, conceive new ideas, and develop strategies to bring those ideas into existence. You will be more likely to see trends outside your industry that could affect the positioning of your business, and generate new growth opportunities.
- Be agile, nimble, and resilient. To be ready for the future you have to be able to act quickly, make decisions during uncertain times and adapt quickly to changes. As we head further into the uncharted waters of the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a new set of skills and attitudes is required to be successful in leading an organization. Agile, nimble, resilient—these words describe the skills and attitudes you must develop to succeed in the future. If you have these skills and attitude you will be able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances. You can respond instantaneously to fast changing business demands and you will be ready for anything.
- Be open to change. Choose to be ever aware and mindful, ready to shift strategy and tactics as the situation requires. Be willing to stay open to the new, the unfamiliar, and the unknown. Most vital, you must cultivate the ability to change and transform on a dime. The ability to change and transform on a dime comes from the capacity to adapt as needed and to create flexible structures that are appropriate and suitable for that moment.
- Challenge traditional perceptions. If you are going to become aware of the future possibilities that are available to you, you can no longer cling to familiar turf. Since success will require doing new things in different ways rather doing the same things better, you must be willing to challenge traditional perceptions, assumptions and points of view. You also must have a willingness to venture into uncharted territory. Be open to all possibilities and be willing to look at what you can do that will generate different possibilities.