Disruption is a central component of the Anticipatory Organization Model, focusing closely on how Anticipatory Organizations and individuals can look at disruption and see enormous opportunities.
The untimely situation we currently face with COVID-19 is no exception; not only has every industry been touched by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, every country has. There is literally no safe haven from this disease, and businesses both large and small have found themselves in a predicament unlike ever before.
However, much like they do with digital disruption, Anticipatory Leaders leverage disruption of any kind by way of realigning their focus and, especially in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, develop a new product or service to benefit humankind or to help wage war on this terrible illness.
Being an Anticipatory Leader during this crisis allows you to anticipate what’s to come and thus not have to wait for the next big disruption to innovate and transform your industry. Traditionally, there are three common reasons industries get stuck, and during a global pandemic, these still prove to be obstacles.
You may have felt a strong sense of growth before the COVID-19 pandemic; however, once lockdowns were put in place, that positivity about the future was greatly challenged, possibly sending you and your organization into stagnation.
I implore you to continue to innovate and become an Anticipatory Organization during all of this. Resting on your laurels rarely works during conventional times, and it will surely be trouble during uncertain times. Let’s say you own a screen printing company that was deemed nonessential. How can you still push innovation in the face of uncertainty and become a positive disruptor in your industry during a lockdown?
The message is clear: We are all uncomfortable being locked down, disallowed to visit our favorite restaurant or partake in our usual gym routine. Many customers will feel like canceling their memberships out of frustration and distancing themselves from their favorite establishments, so you must find a way to engage them. We are all in this together; observe your customers’ behavior and create opportunities via a way to still serve them, even with your doors closed.
Don’t focus on the obstacles of being shut down; focus on how you can innovate and still serve your loyal customer base despite having to close. For example, think of how a self-defense gym can continue to host daily classes remotely via Zoom to keep their members engaged and satisfied.
With now being a better time than any to pay attention to the Hard Trends, separating them from the Soft Trends, and becoming Anticipatory in order to continue innovation in a time possibly void of progress, if you have identified a product or service that can help the world, don’t dawdle.
Be sure to reassign your workforce, employees, or coworkers to focus on said product or service exclusively to get it out now rather than later. An example: A company that hosts 5K fun runs that needed to shut down all its spring and summer events might create an app that allows individuals to compete in a “remote 5K” by logging in and still participating in a 5K. Doing this would allow the company to still host the event in some way, whereas if it delayed or ignored this opportunity, someone else will heed it.
Want to know some specific industries where this global pandemic has created obvious opportunities for disruption and possibly paved the way for a more cost-effective and efficient future in them? Here are three that come to mind:
Take a few minutes to consider your industry (or one that interests you)—are there opportunities and a need for positive disruption during this pandemic?
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.