Foresight! – The Must Have Competency for Business Leaders in 2015.

Written by EO Executives on Jan 12, 2015

Foresight is ‘to have the ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future.’

Pace of change has accelerated so quickly in modern times that by the time you read this, an event will have no doubt occurred somewhere in your business. Prime examples of these are; a lucrative contract signed, a sale, a meeting with marketing, a change in budget or a change in personnel.  The future is always upon you and this is inevitable therefore, I ask the question.  Are you in control of every event that has happened in your organisation and did you expect them to occur?

As a leader you aren’t just expected to keep pace with change, you are the pace setter moving into unchartered territory with every minute and second  that passes. Ultimately, if you have no foresight then how do you expect to stay in control?

It used to be about keeping up with “best practice” now it is about leapfrogging that and understanding what is next and there lies the art.

With this in mind, I have devised 4 key takeaways to ensure that throughout 2015 you remain focussed on the future and have the ability to predict and then navigate your business by having foresight.

1.Get the buy-in from your board

Having foresight isn’t worth much if the board doesn’t have a collaborative vision.  After all, the goal of foresight is to be able to predict future troubles, growth, successes and failures of your business.  With foresight you can make a clear and compelling argument when presenting ideas to other key stakeholders.  Err on the side of caution though as there is a balance to be had; having foresight doesn’t mean to lose focus on current events.

2.Big Data

Capturing historic and present data is essential to give you cold hard facts about your business. Trends and analysis play an even bigger part now than ever before and provide more accurate forecasting into the future.Help is at hand because there are some truly awesome companies out there which offer platforms that enable you to capture and extract data such as http://www.tableausoftware.com/

3.Experiment

Be brave and take on board ideas. It is said that one of our biggest failings is to not have the guts to start something in the first place. Ground breaking ideas and decisions would never occur if employees weren’t bold enough to make them, so be open to listening and sharing and you never know what could happen. For example an employee explaining to you that your CRM is out of date shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Have the foresight to take a look at what else is on offer, you just never know.

4.EQ VS IQ

What makes a greater leader, Emotional Quotient or Intelligence Quotient? Forbes magazine once wrote an article suggesting that IQ is overrated and suggested that what you really need to succeed in business is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) but if we think about this, I believe you need both to have foresight. As a leader, you need to be a human engineer in order to keep pace with the future. There are now even more intelligence quotas such as Moral Intelligence and Body Intelligence. Ultimately, the more well -rounded you are the more readied you are for the challenges ahead.

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