Reinventing oneself has always been a powerful strategy, but in the past, corporate and product reinvention was an option; today it is an imperative. In the past, stability and change were two contrasting states. When you achieved stability, you did so despite change. Today change itself has become an integral part of stability: today you can achieve stability only by embracing change as a continuous and permanent state.
Therefore, forget competing. Instead, leapfrog the competition by redefining anything and everything about your business. Additionally, decommoditize continuously. Look for creative ways to make the mundane exceptional and transform the normal into the extraordinary.
Direct your future: (Or someone else will direct it for you) – Your vision of the future is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change your view of the future, and you direct your future. Flash foresight starts with seeing the certainty of hard trends, and based on that, learning how to anticipate accurately. It also lets you see soft trends, as factors you can influence to shape a better future. But it’s not enough to see hard trends and soft trends, anticipate, transform, go opposite, skip your biggest problems, and reinvent yourself. These are all valuable and vital steps, but there is something larger and more embracing: you need to actively shape your own future.
Directing your own future is the conscious exercise of your creative capacity to envision and rewrite your future life and career that wraps all the other flash foresight principles together. The fact is that you become what you dream. So, if you want to know what you are becoming, you need to ask, “What am I dreaming?”
This is the skill at the heart of flash foresight: the ability to project yourself into the future and then look back at your present position from the future’s point of view — what I call your futureview. This futureview is not the same thing as a goal, plan, ambition, or aspiration. Futureview is not what you hope for or are trying to create. It is the picture you actually hold, for better or for worse, of what you expect and believe about your future.
Becoming aware of your own futureview puts a tremendously powerful strategic tool in your hands. It gives you the controls of your own future. Your futureview determines which actions you’ll take, and which you’ll avoid taking. Different futureviews create different realities. What does your futureview say about you?
Chart your course
Having accurate flashes of insight about the future are the key to successful innovation. And if you want the rest of the C-suite as well as others in your company to view the IT department and the role of the CIO as both innovators and enablers, then you need take a strategic position and help shape the organization’s future. By committing to these seven principles, you’ll keep your company and yourself ahead of the curve so you can navigate a solution before the rest of the world even sees a problem coming.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients better understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal best seller Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible and Do the Impossible as well as the highly acclaimed Technotrends.