Not being able to predict with any certainty important elements of our short-term future is the new normal. And it’s is playing havoc with business (as usual)!
I was never the star soccer player. I played every game throughout high school, but rarely scored. Today, I huff and puff Saturday mornings with friends ages 40 and up, yet my record remains unchanged. They keep fielding me, I think, not just because of my charming demeanor, but because I’m pretty good at placing the ball. I’ve always been able to visualize how the game would evolve, to spot a pattern emerging, and then get the ball to the player, who passed it to the player who scored.
People often ask me how to incentivize entrepreneurial behavior from within an established organization. My first answer is “stop killing it.” Leaders put so many barriers and shut doors in front of would-be internal entrepreneurs that just lifting a few barriers or leaving a few doors ajar would on their own create a momentous acceleration in their flow of innovation.
My wife knows credit cards. She has a couple, of course, but she is also the general counsel of one the world’s leading credit card companies. So, it’s enigmatic that were she old enough in the early 1970s to apply for a credit card herself, her bank would have refused to issue her one. Before 1974, most banks deemed women too high a risk unless they were married and their husbands co-signed for the card.
If you have been feeling the pace of change accelerating, 2018 will demand an even faster pace. Companies that thrive will have to learn to experiment like a startup. Startups are known for being quick and nimble in the face of rapid change. Their small size and fast-paced culture allow them to acknowledge when something isn’t working and change direction accordingly without missing a beat.