Among the most frequently-cited topics in the business world today is strategic innovation. Leaders and managers often wonder how to deal with change management since the world is constantly in flux and everything is changing at a brisk pace — including markets, best practices and customer expectations. The challenge: It often seems that as soon as we wrap our heads around one new idea, it changes shape, or something completely new comes down the creek and we’re left reeling. So how can we as management executives and leaders possibly stay ahead of the curve in a world, and commercial marketplace, that moves this quickly?
Fortunately, there’s no need for crystal balls, tarot cards, or cloying incense. The irony is that most any enterprise can see where trends are headed long before they come down the pike: The trick is rather to have the good sense to step aside so you don’t get run over by them. Start by implementing processes, platforms and people-centric solutions that allow you to stay abreast of rising trends and topics, then proactively develop, implement and test new methodologies, products and services to address these emerging areas of concern. From there, observe the responses prompted by these solutions and react, iterating accordingly as you go. That makes it a bit easier to adapt. Ultimately, it pays to be proactive: It’s wiser to stock a fire extinguisher on-hand before the roof catches flame then finding yourself having to sprint for one while the house is burning down around you.