Prediction of future events is futile
The starting point to know the future is the realization that there are two different, though complementary, approaches:
▪ Finding and exploiting the time lag between the appearance of a discontinuity in the economy and society and its full impact-one might call this anticipation of a future that has already happened.
▪ Imposing on the yet unborn future a new idea that tries to give direction and shape to what is to come. Thid one might call making the future happen.
The future that has already happened is not within the present business; it is outside: a change in society, knowledge, culture, industry or economic structure. It is, moreover, a major trend, a break in the pattern rather than a variation within it. Looking for the future that has already happened and anticipating its impacts introduces new perception in the beholder.
The need is to make oneself see it. What then could or should be done is usually not too difficult to discover. The opportunities are neither remote nor obscure. The pattern has to be recognized first.
Predicting the future can only get you in trouble. The task is to manage what is there and to work to create what could and should be.
ACTION POINT: Spot a discontinuity in the economy or society that has appreared and presents an opportunity for your enterprise. Determine how long it will take for this change to impact the business. Develop a business plan to cash in on this insight.