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Small and powerful

leadership mindset Jun 20, 2019

Small steps over time can produce huge results. I have already written elsewhere about the compounding effect.

This applies not only to our own actions but also to upheavals in the market. Only relatively few enormous changes come overnight. Often it takes years, sometimes decades (or even over 100 years, like an electric car).

The problem: we overlook the small daily changes that ultimately lead to huge upheavals. Our brain is poor at developing long-term predictions.

We see this wonderfully in European politics right now: the "big people's parties" have not seen (or want to see) the change taking place in society for decades: Away from lifelong employment in the same company towards "patchwork careers". Away from lifelong loyalty, towards day-to-day decisions. And so on.

We can like it or not: it remains a reality.

How can we deal with this creeping change? What should we as a company do to escape the fate of those who have not seen it coming?

Three ideas:
  1. Strategy. Make strategy work an ongoing task in the leadership team (and beyond). The times are long gone when you would meet once every five years for a "strategy offsite" to think about the future helped by fun "team building" exercises. Nowadays you need at least annual adjustments.
  2. Vigilance. One of the most important tasks of the management is to recognize long-term shifts - and to react to them. Many are far too busy with day-to-day business to take the time to do so. Tip: Take at least one full day per month (better three) to simply think about the future.
  3. Agility. Build an organization where ongoing change is reality. This requires a lot of empowerment and the involvement of all members of the organization in shaping the future. Change (and also change resistance) is a habit that can be changed.

If you want to work on your future in this sense, simply contact me for a short exploratory discussion. From the outside, you can often see more clearly.

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