Cars may have only recently started driving themselves, but the business world has been on autopilot for decades. Traditions and common practices have led to complacency and inefficiency across industries.
Just out of sight though, the world has continued to grow and evolve. Powerful technological advances, along with disruptive societal events and forces, have created a world that many from even just a few years ago would barely recognize.
In a business sense, the days of multi-year strategic plans are gone. To succeed, a company must continuously address multiple factors and various scenarios. Uncertainty, still a feared adversary to many, needs to be embraced through attitude and action.
Here are three reasons why we here at Northpoint Business Advisors believe businesses should welcome uncertainty in all of its complicated glory.
1. Today’s business climate is changing faster than ever.
Trends and technologies that many of us expected to peak in the next 15-to-20 years have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. While it’s only 2022, the decade’s theme already seems decided; rapid progress is the new normal.
The key to success in this current climate is pace. A business needs to move quickly and decisively when making decisions, whether those decisions involve new products, renewed commitments, or fresh strategies.
Often though, companies quickly come up with big ideas only to drag their feet during the execution phase. This idea, conceptually known as the “knowing-doing gap”, exists in the space between talking action and taking action.
Many companies just aren’t built to swiftly enact change. An aversion to ambiguity is psychologically hardwired into our brains, and it often leads to individuals choosing consistency and planning over efficiency and acting.
Companies that are able to shrink their knowing-doing gap and quickly act upon their hard-fought knowledge are able to effectively embrace uncertainty and eliminate fear.
2. An outside-in perspective better aligns with your clients’ needs.
A dense smoke often hangs between management and customers. Systems used by people on the inside are usually built completely separate from those closest to the actual work.
The further you get from the executive suite, the easier it is to find a sense of awareness and appreciation for those using your product or service. A business that completely ignores the intellectual capital of its lead users can come off as mismanaged at best and arrogant at worst.
Working within a bubble of groupthink frequently leads to decisions that cost the business money (either in or out) while offering no real benefits to those down the line. Why let a boardroom decide what your clients need when your clients are right there?
In the modern age, it’s especially easy to directly interact with your lead users, and they’re often more than willing to share their problems and possible solutions.
Even if their beliefs run contrary to your own internal data and practices, take the leap and explore their thoughts and ideas. Instead of viewing them as simple acquisition targets, think of them as radical competitors on the cutting edge.
Dispel the inside-out smog and consider their outside-in perspective.
3. An innovative mindset and culture will unlock opportunities.
Some industries are fully driven by innovation and stay ahead of the curve as a necessity. For everyone else though, innovation, if harnessed correctly, offers a chance to get ahead.
Comb your company and find people who possess the traits necessary for innovation, or bring in ones that do. Don’t ever limit yourself to those who are readily available, and be willing to invert the focus of your entire leadership team if necessary.
Michael Dell puts it best, “Never be the smartest person in the room. And, if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people.”
What traits inspire innovation though? Some starting points include forgiveness and agility.
Uncertainty will always come with risks. You should welcome, and even greatly encourage, the inconsistency that comes with new ideas. Treat the concept of failure as an inevitability rather than a consequence, and look for meaningful ways to grow in every misstep.
Agility, in a business sense, means effective and quick responses to situations of any caliber. Shrink your knowing-doing gap and stop relying on history and groupthink. Instead, determine a sound process and then constantly iterate it.
According to Beyond Digital, “Capabilities are the link between strategy and execution.” Make sure you’re agile enough to do both.
At Northpoint Business Advisors, we work to establish roadmaps and frameworks that build in uncertainty at the outset. In doing so, we reverse engineer the concept to our clients’ benefits.
In increasing the complexity of their decision making through layers of engagement and input, we’re able to set them on the right track today and future proof them for tomorrow.
Like what you’ve read? Consider diving into our detailed Strategic Marketing Brochures and Datasheets to gain greater insight into our proven approaches.