A key component of success in your business will be your ability to make sense of what is going on in the world. It is not enough to understand how you fit, but as you and the business mature, it will be increasingly important to watch what is going on in both the macro and microenvironment in and around your business. Key questions are:
• What trends are we seeing?
• What changes are we seeing in buying behavior?
• What environmental and legislative factors are at play?
• What disruptions are in motion now and what are coming?
Disruption is upon us and getting certainty will be increasingly difficult. Indeed, one of the key abilities to build a successful business will be you and your team’s ability to act with certainty whilst at the same time being completely uncertain. That is a paradox! Be aware that things around you will change all the time, but in the moment, your organization must decide, own it, and make it right…until proven wrong and circumstances change. The adjust and refine.
There are multiple lenses that you can view this through, and I encourage you to spend some time learning about different approaches. One that has great prominence now is called VUCA:
VUCA describes the situation of constant, unpredictable change that is now the normal in certain industries and areas of the business world. It demands that you avoid traditional, outdated approaches to management and leadership, and day-to-day working. These are usually too sluggish and limited to be effective in a turbulent environment.
So how do you do this market sensing? You could start by doing it yourself through research via the internet. You could give responsibility to different members of your executive team to pick a topic and present periodically. Or you could engage an outside consultant to come in periodically and brief you and your teams. There is not perfect answer, but the key is to get into a mode where you start to watch what is happening around and externally to you, so that you can derive meaning, and adjust your business strategy and tactics accordingly