The world was fast before Covid – that’s why my catchphrase, and the title of one of my books, is “the future belongs to those who are fast!”
And yet, post-pandemic, it’s even faster, and will only continue to accelerate. That’s why I’ve been talking about ‘the acceleration gap‘ – it’s big and getting bigger. To bridge the gap, you really need to work harder to make sure you are aligned to, and can act upon, the trends that matter.
What’s the gap? I hit my virtual broadcast studio to explain it – you can find a chopped-up playlist down below.
The key thing is that history tells us that every global crisis shifts the axis of the future of our universe, and every crisis offers an opportunity to improve. In the harsh reality of our post-pandemic world, leadership strategies that worked yesterday are exposed as being irrelevant tomorrow even while they are being actively considered today. That’s why it is critical that you double down on being a forward-oriented organization.
What do these organizations do? Several things – they:
- anticipate change, rather than being surprised by the change
- are proactive, not reactive, in its actions
- have a willingness to embrace change, not recoil from change
- relishes and encourages fresh thinking
- have a creativity incubator that works at the new speed demanded of our fast world
- has an innovation pipeline that can turn those ideas into actionable strategies faster
- partners with the experts, in order to expand its expertise
- hires staff for their ability to look forward, not back
- has a strategy that is focused more on where they should be going rather than where they’ve been in the past
- shifts its mindset from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’
- is prepared to make bold moves rather than take timid steps
- has an effective trends radar that identifies what comes next
- has an active strategy to align those trends to ‘what should we do about it!’
What they really decide to do is align to the future, rather than their past – and actively act upon that.
Need convincing? Pre-pandemic, CEOs and organizations were dealing with a world of business model disruption, the acceleration of technology, the faster evolution of key skills, and other critical issues. All of those trends became faster during the pandemic because everyone had to adapt. Now, in the harsh light of our new world, one thing is clear – the future is even more complex than it was before.
And a simple fact has emerged – there is a massive and growing gap between the speed of change and the ability of organizations to keep up. Bridging this gap is critical to future success – and the significance of your inability to bridge the gap is even bigger than it was before. You do so by becoming a forward-oriented organization.