Sunday, May 21, 2023


Our world needs more looking-forward, acting-forward, and innovating-forward leaders and professionals.

Complexity, diversification, hyper-connectivity, and interdependence, are the characteristics of the business ecosystem. Forward-looking view is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the change must look like, how to close the blind spots, overcome roadblocks, and deal with change inertia. Thinking outside the current constraints and comfort zones requires a different vision and the courage to pursue business transformation. Keep your focus in the direction of your destination, build a set of core competencies to accelerate performance seamlessly.

It is the forward-looking view you need to focus on for steering in the right direction: Forward-looking view is more about thinking ahead, to prepare for the challenges and uncertainty on the way to the future. Contemporary leaders need to spend more time looking forward, to set guidance, and make commitment. If you focus too long, too much on the past, you will not be prepared to react when potential obstacles enter your path ahead. The wrong direction will no doubt lead to the wrong destination. You have to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the business landscape with its risks and opportunities.

Looking forward is not always so easy, often it’s cloudy. Forethoughtness is the ability to think on a temporal plane; where you are and where you want to be. Forward-thinking is dependent on those at the top. Keep their focus in the direction of the destination and only glance at the past necessarily to stay aware of where you have been. Visionaries stand up as high as they can and look in every direction they could, view the landscape from a different angle and steer business transformation holistically.

Running forward with accelerated business speed: Nowadays, with the increasing pace of changes and unprecedented uncertainty and complexity, leading business forward is extremely difficult. The challenge is how you move the ‘needle’ forward, and really mind the variety of gaps to accelerate business performance. Moving forward is usually not so straightforward, there are quite a few bumps and curves on the way. It requires going a step or a few steps further. It involves internalization of multidimensional understanding and conceptual models so that the newly required behaviors don't require the same kind of effort and vigilance.

Forethoughtful organizations can look into the future clearly, proactively planning, evolving, and co-creating in the dynamic ecosystem. Those future-driven leaders have better sense to capture business trends, gain fresh business insight to understand things holistically; respect diversified viewpoints, move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible and trendsetting for making the future brighter.

Innovating forward to unleash the full potential of the organization
: Innovation is about moving forward. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. Many companies grow on the basis of "idea creation," but then get bogged down when trying to "commercialize" those ideas. As it requires a different focus, skillset, and toolset. And, if a company's focus swings too far to the commercialization side of the equation, then innovation suffers and vice-versa.

If business leaders have an innovation-forward agenda, go beyond short-term gain, take a calculated risk and make a long-term investment, organizations have a better opportunity to shift from surviving to thriving mode. Business management needs to take a balanced approach to deal with those innovation paradoxes smoothly; provide maximal freedom for innovators, build innovation as the business competency.

The world needs more looking-forward, acting-forward, and innovating-forward leaders and professionals. Only very few forward-looking organizations have a long-term vision, goal-driven processes and differentiated capabilities to achieve high performance. Business transformation is a long-term journey, it has to be clearly understood with a clarified vision to ensure endurance, persistence to satisfy both short-term gratification and long-term high-performance results.


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