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There has never been more opportunity than there is today to dramatically accelerate growth using new digital marketing tools, the right business strategies, and a proper and effective mindset.
I recently invited Ford Saeks to participate in an episode of “Opportunity Hour: Conversations with the Masters.” Our conversation was specific to business growth and how to accelerate momentum in marketing, sales, leadership and operations.
No matter the size of your business or organization, you can dramatically accelerate growth when you have the right tools to do so.
But part of what separates business, organizations, and the leaders in charge from the growth they desire is this invisible but rather prominent gap. The desire to advance from where a business or organization is to where leaders and employees alike want it to be is a common characteristic among all those pushing to accelerate internal and external growth and finding a way to bridge the gap can be more difficult than many realize.
However, as mentioned above, there are specific growth-accelerating tools that must be in your professional toolbox, especially as a business or whole industry leader. Today, I want to explore these tools and help you determine the reasons why your specific business or organization is experiencing a seemingly insurmountable gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Business growth inhibitors can come in all shapes and sizes, but what I have noticed over the many decades of helping businesses and organizations reach their goals while pre-solving problems before getting disrupted is that growth, or what tends to seemingly prevent growth, comes down to three specific components.
Mindset – First, and as discovered in that aforementioned survey, a business leader or C-suite executive’s mindset is huge in the way of closing the growth gap. What I teach in my Anticipatory Leader System is to avoid having an agile mindset alone, especially as it pertains to fully predictable Hard Trend future certainties. When your mindset is not dialed in on one of anticipation and growth in and of itself, you and your business or organization become experts in agility and putting out fires. This inhibits growth, creating excessive busywork just to stay afloat.
An Anticipatory mindset looks to Hard Trend future certainties to allow you to get a proactive plan in place and stay ahead of any disruption or change that comes your way. In turn, you then leverage those Hard Trends to become a positive disruptor in your industry, shortening that growth gap by putting you ahead of the curve.
Strategy – What follows an Anticipatory, proactive mindset are the strategies you and your business or organization implement. Are they going in the right direction with a clear mission, vision, and company-wide values? How about an implementation plan; are these strategies going to be executed in a timely and proper manner?
This concept relates to another characteristic of my Anticipatory Leader System in that a company must have a positive, united Futureview® to successfully grow. If your organization and all that are involved are united in strategic growth aspects, then you have a culture with a positive outlook on future endeavors.
Tactical – As long as you have your organizational mindset and feasible growth strategy in place, now it comes down to the tactical efforts in putting those pieces of the accelerated growth plan puzzle together. For instance, does your organization spend its time on the highest priority activities necessary to accelerate growth?
If time is wasted on menial, pointless tasks, you are spinning your wheels in a tactical sense and merely gazing over that growth gap rather than building a sturdy bridge to cross it. This component again goes back to a strictly agile mindset, where some of the most brilliant employees and leaders are spending their valuable time putting out fires and dodging obstacles rather than being the one setting the innovation standard in the industry using anticipation.
The components to accelerate growth and get to where you envision your business or organization being in the industry and society are right at your grasp, but where do you go from here as a leader?
Some look at the components mentioned above and their coming together to bridge the growth gap as a sign that they have to double up their hours at the office, spend less time enjoying the finer things in life, and essentially do more than they were before. How else do you grow if not putting the pedal to the metal and taking on more responsibilities, right?
Rest assured, this is not the answer! Doing more does not equate to organizational growth, and as a matter of fact, doing less is potentially the answer. Now, how is that even a plausible solution to this problem? Let’s unbox this further:
I am not talking about doing less in the sense that you stop working or take an early retirement from your role — I am referring to using much of the new, disruptive technology exponentially and skipping would-be insurmountable obstacles that stand between you and accelerated growth. For instance, I have written at length about the many applications and uses of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the corporate world.
A.I. and certain machine learning (M.L.) applications are Hard Trend future certainties that are not slowing down anytime soon, and while they do not fully replace you as a leader or an employee, they can eliminate some of the more mundane, repetitive tasks that consume your time on a daily basis. If not handled, those mundane tasks can quickly transform into growth inhibitors, as you are too preoccupied with them. A.I. and M.L. can be applied exponentially to help you essentially skip over those inhibitors, doing less and growing more by repositioning yourself in the proper tasks.
If the thought of doing less thanks to exponential digital technology taking on some of your workload scares you a bit, perhaps take this pearl of wisdom instead: Unlocking accelerated growth is about making the right moves rather than performing more tasks. And the top-tier way to do this is by starting with our three components to accelerated growth: Mindset, strategy, and tactical implementation.
Firstly, your mindset should be Anticipatory, and that can start with something as simple as an analysis of your and your colleague’s time. What are you doing in 24 hours, a week, a month, and so forth? Also, who is doing what task and is it the best use of their time? This gauges where you are on your journey to accelerated growth.
Then, your strategy should be Anticipatory as well, one that maximizes growth and clearly communicates your goals organization wide. As mentioned earlier, a unified culture at your organization will move you forward faster as a team, and everyone in your organization thoroughly understanding the process that is required to get to those growth goals is imperative.
Finally, leveraging exponential technology in your tactical implementation of your strategies keeps your growth smooth and Anticipatory in and of itself. Get familiar with disruptive digital technology that most have dismissed as either being a fad, or fear will replace them in their industry. If these technologies are Hard Trend future certainties, how can you leverage them to skip problems and do less rather than more?
Growth can be easily compared to America’s favorite pastime of baseball. You cannot reach home plate and score while running back and forth to each base you have already been to. At some point, you must embrace the next step and move forward to grow significantly and successfully.
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.
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