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Reverse Engineer the Future

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 2:35 PM

One of the things Google looks to do is project five years into the future and try to anticipate what cannot possibly untrue. As we look at our industries we must anticipate changes. In the IT sphere – the iPad was invented just five years ago. Fast forward to the present and the manager of a large retail store can walk around with this tool and get up to the minute business analytics about how their store is performing and what needs to be reordered to take advantage of demand trends.

 

But how does that work? When I look at an industry, I like to ask three key questions:

 

 

  1. What can be automated?
  2. What information will you need to make better decisions?
  3. What stands in your way to multiplying the labor of your team?

 

The first question makes me think about the blending of personal and business interactivity. I recently was fined for checking my email while at a stoplight. The financial penalty was inspiring for me to stop this reckless behavior, but the motivation for why I was doing it is instructive for what could indicate changes. The reason we have to have laws against texting while driving is that many of us would rather pay attention to our data stream than to drive. Because of this, if driving can be automated, it probably will be. More than just making the world a safer place to be, it allows people like me to do what I’d rather be doing.

 

When I think about better decision making, we should all want to know what is the smartest and best thing we could be doing at all times. But this should not be limited to management or leadership. If each employee knew at all times what was the most important thing they could be doing at all times, we would improve all areas of the company from better client service to accelerated sales growth. Returning to the store manager with access to real time analytics, what questions do you wish you could have answered now?

 

Last, we all have the same number of hours in a week. If you have a team of great employees, the key to growth isn’t tied to “working harder” but working smarter. But this often becomes just a cliché driven by obsession with time management. In growing companies I ask this question: How can you create more value for more people in less time? By making that a part of any sales plan DNA, you will achieve growth. 

Categories: Automation, Growth, Analytics