Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Well I'm baaaaack. I've been concentrating the last couple of weeks on the new job - and I love it. But it's time to get back to sharing my thoughts and "insights".
I can't remember what I was doing the other day when I saw the name Joel Barker. Wow. I hadn't heard that name in years. Barker wrote the book Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future. It's been one of my favorite books - and movies.

Barker is a futurist. He believes that paradigm shifts can happen at any time. And so do I. The thing is, if you look to the future, you may see them coming. This is where the futurist comes in with anticipation.

Too many managers lead with a reactionary skill. In his book, Barker discusses Peter Drucker's book Managing in Turbulent Times. He writes about the skills that a good manager needs and "suggests that one of the most important managerial skills during times of high turbulence (and anytime really) is anticipation."

Successful managers have always been strong problem-solvers. When a real problem occurs, they solve it. This is what they're paid for and this is what they concentrate on.

Drucker suggests that managers improve their skills in the area of anticipation and problem avoidance/opportunity identification. This is where you have the greatest leverage over the future - in business and in personal lives.

By looking ahead - anticipating - you'll dramatically improve your ability to deal with things before they happen, which in turn is going to give you more smooth sailing time. Sure, there are always going to be problems to solve. But by being a futurist and anticipating, you'll be able to head them off easier - or before they even happen.

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