PROGRESSThoughts on leading from my new book Ingaging Leadership

As a new year begins, it seems appropriate to think about both the past and the future. All of us in business are looking back and taking stock of what we accomplished in 2015. At the same time, we are looking at year 2016 and beyond, making plans, and envisioning new levels of success.

Looking Back vs. Looking Forward

It is sometimes worthwhile to ask, “So what did we do in the past that worked? Why don’t we bring it back?” Sometimes that approach works, but always reaching back to what worked in the past is generally not growthful.  After all, future trends and changes will influence who you become as an organization.

Few leaders – even excellent ones – have the ability to predict the future with complete accuracy. However, questions like these will help you get a vision of how you will evolve in the years ahead:

  • How have our customers changed and what does that tell me about how they could change in the future?
  • Are there technological changes that we will have to adopt in order to thrive?
  • What is the projected life of our offerings – are they still competitive, at what point will we need to discontinue them, alter them, or upgrade them in order to stay competitive?
  • How might our competitors fare in the years ahead – are they growing stronger or weaker? What are their key competitive advantages and disadvantages against us?

A Practical Way to Look Ahead

As an exercise, take a little time to reflect on the business you are in and make a list of predictions about the changes that are

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about to happen in your industry in the next five years. Is your organization well prepared for those changes? Are you lagging behind – or are you positioned to be a leader in bringing about the changes you foresee?

All of us at Ingage Consulting wish you great success in the coming year, and in every year to come.