5 Keys to Future-Proofing Your Business

Chutisa & Steven Bowman

5 Keys to Future-Proofing Your Business

What needs to change so your business is future-proof? Our experience and research show it is primarily to do with the points of view you hold about your business and the environment in which it operates.

The last decade has witnessed revolutionary changes to business across the globe. Today’s business leaders have to wrestle with diverse, intricate and multifaceted challenges: globalization, technological advances, digitization, climate change, organizational sustainability, a global credit crunch—the list is endlessly growing. If your business strategy and mindset is not prepared for the future, your business will become irrelevant. In this complex business environment, doing business-as-usual is a formula for business failure.  

There are 4 key business-as-usual assumptions that most business executives buy as real, that in fact will keep your business limited, and even cause its demise.

  1. Industry structures and boundaries are inflexible and fixed
  2. Specialisation and niche positioning is the answer
  3. You need to beat the competitors to succeed
  4. Time, people, revenue and opportunities are scarce, business is hard, and that’s just the way it is (the Scarcity Paradigm)

All of these assumptions are just points of view, not reality, but they keep us stuck in business-as-usual. Changing your point of view will lead to business expansion and innovation in ways you can’t even imagine. Here are 5 keys that will assist you to change your points of view that are holding your business back from being what it can be. We have used these 5 keys to successfully create 5 global businesses, and other people and organizations have used to exponentially grow their business.

Tomorrow’s future: Points of view that can work for you

There are 5 keys to future proofing your business so it grows and remains relevant.

1.            Be out of Control: do not let other people’s points of view, realities, judgments, and decisions be the controlling factor in your business. Be aware of these points of view, but don’t be controlled by them.

2.            Be out of Definition: People create business from definition, as though definition is a creation. Definition by definition alone is limitation. Don’t do your business from a defined point of view. What definition of your business or sector do you have that is not true, that if you changed it, would change your business?

3.            Be out of Limitation: What if there was no limitation on what you can do or be? There isn’t. It’s a choice. Every limitation you think you have, is in fact a strategic advantage you can create, an innovation that is waiting for you to recognize. It is just a point of view.

4.            Be out of Form, Structure and Significance: A significance would be “This is the only way, or this is the right way, or this is the answer.” “This is the way you have to do it.” “This is how our sector does it.” “This is how the government says we have to do it“ etc. Be aware of these forms and structures, and look at how else you might turn these forms and structures into advantage for your business. You have to be willing to change anything in your business in a heartbeat. Also be willing to change its format too - Ask: What can I change here that will create a different result? Most people will not look to expand their business beyond a certain point. They get comfortable with “I can control this”. Most businesses will not expand past what business leaders feel they can control. Don’t create your business from where you fit in the market - create a new market that has not yet existed.

5.            Out-Create: Out-creating means you go beyond the existing limitations, that somebody else doesn’t see but you do see. It doesn’t mean duplicating what someone else does and do it better. If you try to compete with or duplicate someone else, you are more likely to become just a commodity like everyone else. How do you out-create somebody?  Out-create what you did yesterday and you will have more in your business and life. Be greater than the biggest judgment you are willing to receive. Out-create other people’s judgements to create revenue streams that have always been available but you had not otherwise considered - this is another form of innovation.

This is a slightly different view on business and entrepreneurship…and it works. Your point of view creates your reality, so if you want to change your reality, change your point of view.

About the Authors

Chutisa Bowman is a pragmatic futurist, author, columnist, media commentator, and consultant, with a focus on connecting business transformation with future trends and innovation. She is trained both as a psychotherapist and conventional behavioral scientist and ergonomist. Chutisa’s previous executive roles include senior executive at a number of Australia’s largest publicly listed retail corporations (David Jones, Coles Myers - Target and K Mart), and a senior consultant with one of Australia’s most prominent usability and human factors specialist consulting firms.

Steven Bowman is a leading international advisor in strategy, governance and leadership. He currently consults with over one thousand nonprofit and corporate organisations each year in the USA, UK, Australia , NZ and Asia. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Corporate Law and Accountability Research Group , Monash University.

Check out their website - http://www.nomorebusinessasusual.com