|whirling people machine by joiseyshowaa (Flickr)|
Daniel Burrus' new book Flash Foresight offers help to those who are starting to feel the impact of the faster speed of change. He lays out principles that can help companies develop a clearer picture of the future so that they can plan ahead and take advantage of the opportunities that change brings rather than become one of its victims.
I spoke to Daniel earlier this week as part of the Post2Post Virtual Book Tour (tour dates below). We started our conversation by talking about the inevitability of change and how that challenges human nature which likes to protect and defend the status quo. As human organizations, companies often find it difficult to deal with change. They lock into business models that reward short-term thinking--models where quarterly performance comes at the expense of investment in the future. When companies are faced with transformational change, their fatal tendency is to react as if it's a storm that will pass (i.e. baton down the hatches, cut marketing and limit R&D) rather than realizing that it's time to radically change direction.
So how can companies prepare themselves for an era of transformational change? Daniel believes that it's important for companies to develop a "futureview," a term he coined to describe the mental picture we hold of our future existence. Companies need to embrace the reality of a radically different future and then do what they can to shape that future in their favor. After all, as Daniel pointed out: "The future is where they're going to make most of their money."
We also talked about branding and how brands can help companies adapt to change. Daniel believes that brands can be a source of inspiration in this new era, helping companies decide how they are going to change. But that only works if brands themselves have a futureview and derive their equity from attributes that will continue to be relevant in the future. Brand managers should ask themselves whether their brands are giving them strong enough guidance on what actions they should be taking to prepare for the future. In this new era, brands need to adapt so they are part of the solution and not contributors to the problem.
A great chat with Daniel and one that only touched on a few of the many ideas in the book. I recommend checking out the posts of the other bloggers talking to Daniel this week. The Post2Post Virtual Book Tour itinerary is:
Monday, March 7th: Jeff De Cagna: Principled Innovation @pinnovation
Tuesday, March 8th: Chris Wilson: The Fresh Peel @FreshPeel
Wednesday, March 9th: Brand Mix @martinjbishop
Thursday, March 10th: Phil Gerbyshak: Make It Great @philgerb
Friday, March 11th: Rajesh Setty: Bringing Ideas To Life @RajSetty
Earlier Post2Post book tour author Brand Mix visits:
Seth Godin: Meatball Sundae
Erika Andersen: Being Strategic
Thanks to Paul Williams (Idea Sandbox) for inviting me to participate and organizing the book tour.