Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Marketing
Creating time for the future


October 30, 2009
By Daniel Burrus

Topics

Most problems or changes come from the outside-in as external factors that impact the organization. This causes people to react, crisis manage, and continually put out fires. Therefore, the only way to gain control of your future and avoid the increasing number of problems is to ensure that some of the changes come from the inside-out. Changes that come from the inside-out are far more controllable. Changes that come from the outside-in are often out of our control. As such, crisis managers live in an uncontrollable world, while opportunity managers have a handle on their future.

Most problems or changes come from the outside-in as external factors
that impact the organization. This causes people to react, crisis
manage, and continually put out fires. Therefore, the only way to gain
control of your future and avoid the increasing number of problems is
to ensure that some of the changes come from the inside-out. Changes
that come from the inside-out are far more controllable. Changes that
come from the outside-in are often out of our control. As such, crisis
managers live in an uncontrollable world, while opportunity managers
have a handle on their future.

The key to becoming an opportunity manager is to have the discipline to
unplug from the present at least once per week. It’s about taking an
hour and not looking at the economy, the stock market, the balance
sheet, the sales numbers, and all the things that are part of today’s
world. Rather, it’s a time to plug into the future, because that’s
where you’re going to spend the rest of your life.

In order to make sure you take the time to plan, you need to put the
time in your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself just as you
would for any other important business meeting. If you don’t put it in
your calendar, you’ll never take time to plan. You’ll be so busy
putting out fires that you’ll never get to it. And if you think you
don’t have time to do this, that’s because you’re in a habitual crisis
management mode. The only way to get time back is to spend the time to
stop those problems from happening.

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The good news is that most changes are cyclical rather than permanent.
For example, a company’s sales will continually ebb and flow with the
seasons. Sometimes changes are permanent. For example, a girl gets an
iPod and starts listening to music on that device rather than buying
CDs. That’s a permanent change, because she’s not going back to music
on CDs. Permanent changes, even those that are small, can have
devastating effects on a business. What permanent marketplace changes
are on your organization’s radar?

During your hour ask yourself: “Based on the direction I see things
going, the trends I see happening, and the market cycles I’m aware of,
what are the problems I’m about to have? And, equally important, what
are my customers’ predictable future problems?” Then determine a
strategy to solve those problems before they occur. For example, if
you’re implementing a new strategic plan, predict the problems the plan
will create and solve them before they start.

No matter who you are or what you do, an hour a week is doable. So
don’t wait for your future to unfold randomly, only to end up in a
place you don’t want to be. Instead, invest an hour a week into your
company and/or yourself and watch your success grow.

Dan Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology
forecasters and strategists. He 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. For more information,
please visit www.burrus.com


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