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"MINDSET - MIND-BLOWN!" 5 Critical Steps Toward A More Secure Future

The New Year has arrived with a tremendous thunder. The way last year ended still has many leaders unsettled and today, things are more obscure than ever before. Frenzy and furry to end one year created chaos and fuzziness at the start of this year and the reality of the cookie-cutter strategic plan has revealed it's inability to deliver and the future is obscure. By the way, where is that plan?

Here are 5 steps that will ensure your organization will have a more secure future:

1. Future Oriented Mindset- how you think about the future influences decisions made for the future of the organization. if you are fearful, hesitant, or have an allegiance to tradition and an unwillingness to change when necessary, the organization will always be in a crisis. New mental models are shaped through recalibrating old systems and thought processes into fresh possibilities that no longer have to appear to be unachievable. (click to tweet)

2. Foresight planning - this process extends beyond a typical strategic plan. It requires being future ready and it's a critical competency leaders must possess. Leaders will develop a strategy to embrace or combat change as deemed beneficial for their organization. They will be adept at using foresighting tools such as environmental scanning (ES). ES enables an organization to analyze trends, look for signals and follow patterns of change occurring outside the organization that may impact the organization. Other scientific methods such as assumption-based planning, SWOT analysis, PEST/PESTEL, STEEP, scenario planning, and trend analysis all aid in informing a leader on how to plan for the future. Strategic planning- but not the traditional, cookie-cutter planning that tends to be rigid, quickly antiquated, predictable, and rarely used. A good strategic planning process involves foresight planning as previously mentioned, a succession plan, an environmental sustainability operations system (SOS), a comprehensive leadership development process, and a global integration / cross-cultural plan.

3. Visioning- is a process which involves strategically mapping what the desired future should look like. Visioning involves an intentional process of laying out what is desired of the organization. Mapping in specific, intentional details what fulfilling the purpose of the organization looks like. For example, if you are selling products, do you see babies, youth, adults wearing your apparel, or drinking from your coffee mugs. Do you hear customers talking about the quality of your products and services and making recommendations to others in your targeted market? There are no limitations to visioning or some also would call this process visualization.

4. Identifying the strategic drivers of your organization- strategic drivers are critical to a company's strategy. Strategic drivers are focal points that help determine where investments should be allocated and these drivers aid in positioning the company for competitive advantage. They must be identified and prioritized.(1) Leaders who are pulled in different directions become distracted and lose sight on how to direct the organization. priorities and often inadvertently misappropriate money towards projects that aren't relevant to where the organization is going. Future-focused leaders use external strategic drivers to avoid missing cues such as new market opportunities for advancement of the organization or the rise of external threats. The internal drivers such as the mission, goals, and profits, must be understood as well and the leader has the responsibility of communicating both internal and external drivers as well as determine when it's feasible to reprioritize them to improve a competitive edge.

5.Leadership Development- Among the many continuous and ongoing investments necessary for the future of an organization, leadership development is always a top priority. A comprehensive leadership development process isn't linear, but all- inclusive. Leaders are taught and developed from all lines of business. I posted this on various social media platforms and it should be mentioned again here. According to Business Insider (2017), Baby-Boomers turned 70 years old in 2016 and by 2030, those 65 and older will make up 20% of our population. More startling are the number of potential retirees by 2030 that bring along a threat of institutional knowledge leaving the workplace while an influx of millennials infiltrates the workforce, lacking sufficient talent development not to mention lacking leadership development! Is your organization struggling with how to internally develop and retain the skilled leaders necessary for keeping your business successful for the next 12 years? How future-fit is your company?

Live 4 Change, LLC is a global strategic sustainability consultancy. We serve our clients through leadership and organizational development. We work with your HRM and Leadership to help create a strategy that optimizes efficiency, fill gaps in talent development, and improves performance. Click the link and schedule a consultation.

(1)Hughes, R. L., Beatty, K. C., Dinwoodie, D. L., & Center for Creative Leadership. (2014). Becoming a strategic leader: Your role in your organization's enduring success(2nd ed.). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

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