Industry Scenarios. One level up from revenue predictions is the prediction of industry scenarios in which we try and guess what are competitors are likely to do in the future.
Strategic Planning. The most complex level of predictions takes place in strategic planning. Most high- performing businesses set annual and long-term objectives and develop plans to meet those objectives. Resource planning, financial planning, market planning, sales planning and project planning all depend upon how well businesses predict the future in their strategic plans.
One of the problems with these business tools is that businesses end up developing “planned reactions” to guessed-about future events instead of creating their own plans. A second problem is that businesses usually measure the success of these “planned reactions” based upon whether or not they produce the predicted results.
Now here’s the rub: All of those estimates of future revenues, industry scenarios and strategic plans are based upon predictions which are more than likely wrong. By measuring success against faulty predictions how can a business do anything but fail to achieve its goals?
Why should you predict the future if it is such a losing game? Well, I have a saying: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Instead of using future estimates, predictions and plans to be reactive to the future be proactive about the future by creating your own. To move your business Faster han he Speed Of Change™ declare the direction in which you want your business to go-invent your own future. Pick a direction and set plans in action to take advantage of and profits from that direction.
You may end up exactly where you said you were going. Then again, you may not. Along the way you may shit completely-your northward heading now facing east and your west now facing south. But you will get somewhere and that somewhere will probably be much farther along and much closer to your declared direction than if you had no direction and only “reaction plans.”
Declarations, predictions, and, yes, even strategic plans have a way of focusing our attention and mobilizing our efforts far more effectively than random action, or worse still, just plodding along with no sense of the future. A boldly conceived and declared future energizes everyone in your enterprise. We never fail to be excited and inspired by what art historian Kenneth Clark called “the shock of the new.” And, by inventing the future you may alter the competitive landscape and bring into being changes so great that they didn’t exist before.
You see, the future is really whatever we say it is going to be. Once we decide what is possible, become inspired by the possible, commit our resources, time and energy to achieving speciic objectives, we can turn future possibilities into reality.