Start attacking your way to business success

The shy could take over earth, but boy, would they not get far in the business world. Those leaders that hide behind the curtains, waiting patiently for their cue, will never make it.

In today’s constantly evolving economy, the businessperson has to be tough in order to keep up with the program. Those markets that are currently flourishing aren’t guaranteed their spots forever, with those smaller, lesser known companies coming in strong and unpredictably. Therefore, only those people that have a good hand on the industry, anticipate every change, and are ready for everything that they don’t expect, will make it.

So, what do you need to know in order to go attack and get the business advantage? Keep reading to become acquainted with the tools necessary to make it out on top every day.

You will find out:
- How Ted Turner’s mentality helped turn him into a media mogul
- How come Nokia, the Finnish technology giant, lost their market edge
- Why passive executives end up stopping your best efforts at forward thinking

Ignore the signs of structural uncertainty at your company’s peril. Always take them seriously!

The economy of the world will increase by $30 trillion in the next ten years, which is really good news for any company.
In order take advantage of this growth to the maximum, you will need to have a good understanding of which industries you should invest in and which technologies will be taking over the market.
That isn’t simple to do, though. How come? Well, each and every industry is faced with structural ambiguity.
That structural ambiguity comes from outside situations which naturally, are uncontrollable. For instance, the internal problems that deal with supply or human resources merely make operational uncertainties, which are a whole lot simpler to see and to stop from happening. On the contrary, though, structural ambiguity can get even those long-established company leaders into a pickle.
A technological creation that completely flips an industry inside-out is the most model case of structural ambiguity. For instance, Dell, the computer manufacturer, was once the market leader that had relished in huge profit margins. However, this only remained true up until the 2000s, when Apple had come out with their tablet.
That new technology had caused the huge drop in the demand of personal computers as well as laptops, which was essentially all that had been getting Dell to the top in the first place. That structural ambiguity had caused Dell’s share price to go down at an alarming rate. The thing is, they never expected it in the first place!
Although structural ambiguities take businesses by surprise fairly often, it’s not impossible to sense them before they happen. Often times, both signals as well as hints are staring right in front of us the whole time. The problem is, though, executives tend not to take them seriously.
That’s exactly what had happened to Nokia. In the age of the uprising of smartphone technology, the company would have had to have noticed this structural ambiguity.
The executives at Nokia had been doing some research on smartphone technology and were well aware of the fact that Apple was filing a series of patents. It was wrong of the company to have failed to act on those warnings that had caused them to forfeit their top positioning in the cell phone market.
If you don’t want to turn into either Dell or Nokia, you need to be able to forsee the uncertainty and understand how fast to act whenever you do. However, what is the initial step? Keep reading to learn about some strategies.

A catalyst is a visionary person who can spot the potential for innovation before anyone else.

How do you call a person that reacts to change prior to it happening? No, it’s not a psychic. Those who are able to spot progress early within an industry and end up doing something about it are catalysts.
Catalysts have the capacity it takes to pick out patterns within a jumble of possibilities in order to see how come and why there’s a possible change that could affect the entire industry. This is called perceptual acuity.
So, how exactly do catalysts use their perceptual acuity to their benefit?
They first begin by pinpointing seeds. Seeds are those events that could rise and turn into a real innovative idea. Patents are a really good instance of seeds. They are filed as well as granted, but not really used by many. Patents for innovations that are underestimated typically inspire any kind of big shift in how an industry operates.
Those are the kinds of innovations that catalysts are able to pinpoint and work to create towards that shift.
The catalyst Paul Breedlove made a rediscovery of a certain speech recognition technology that had been invented in the 1960s by the researcher Bishnu Atal from Bell Labs located in New Jersey. He had been awarded so many things during that time, but in the long run, Atal’s technology had been forgotten.
That being said, Breedlove made the decision to hire Atal as a consultant at the end of the 70s, putting in $25,000 in order to create “Speak and Spell”, a children’s digital learning game. That device had garnered a lot of success, the majority of which would not have been possible without Atal’s seed technology.
A patent that acts as a seed is pretty simple to locate and pinpoint. However, catalysts that have a refined perceptual acuity can locate seeds in the most unexpected areas. That is made possible when a catalyst utilizes a seed in order to bring together two industries that aren’t related whatsoever.
For instance, because of the perceptual acuity of Ted Turner, we are able to use his innovation- satellite TV. Prior to Turner, satellites were merely used to move data into research centers, whereas television cable networks were only an early industry.
Turner had seen a seed in the possible combination of the two of those unrelated technologies, making a nationwide television broadcast system in order to beam signals to satellites, transmitting them with the help of cable in order to get to the television sets.

To boost your perceptual acuity, reach across industries to share ideas with other savvy executives.

If you’re a catalyst, then you are a very useful resource for expanding, innovative companies. However, if your perceptual acuity isn’t up to that level yet, you can use the following three strategies in order to boost your seed-spotting ability.
Begin by testing out your perceptive acuity by talking to those from different industries or executives that handle other kinds of challenges in comparison to you every day.
A CEO of a $10 billion company had done that exact thing. They brought together four other CEOs from various sectors; consumer goods, finance, information technology, as well as heavy industry.
Those executives had made the choice to meet four times per year in order to bounce ideas off one another as well as share their own outlooks. When combining their knowledge in what they specialize in, every business leader individually enhanced their ability to see the “bigger picture”, thus giving each one of them great foresight.
It did not take long before those exact CEOs had gotten into that same habit of constantly looking for advice from specialists from various industries. That had assisted them with finding possible structural uncertainties faster than the rest of their competitors.
Having a wide variety of reading material is yet another way to gain the knowledge necessary in order to sharpen your perceptual acuity.
For instance, Warren Buffett reads through 500 transcripts of investor calls, where businesses talk about financial performance as well as corporate vision each year. That huge amount of information lets Buffett make perceptive decisions across different departments.
You are able to sharpen your perceptual acuity by constantly keeping your eyes on the lookout for possibilities. Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone Group, uses every Monday morning in order to pinpoint anomalies in the external business landscape. He brings in other perceptive guests to those meetings in order to share what it is that they have observed, what they think is “new”, and who the main industry catalysts are.

Succeeding in a changing world means staying on the attack and letting no one stand in your way.

You have most likely heard that the best defense is solid offence. That couldn’t be more true in regards to structural ambiguities. You may believe that there’s no need for hostile methods since your industry looks as if it’s stable. In actuality, there isn’t one industry that is really stable or safe.
Each industry can struggle with structural ambiguity. You can’t escape change, therefore, you have to learn how to deal with change whenever it occurs. However, how do you do it? You’ve got to make a change by yourself.
Cloud computing came about in the beginning of the 2000s. Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, had realized how much potential it had in the early stages. He understood that cloud computing would decrease the fixed price for consumers, thus replacing his company’s then current model of offering hard copies of licensed software.
He had supported Adobe’s board to invest early in the harbouring of new computing capabilities and favorably, received a few smaller cloud computing businesses prior to when they became larger.
Just as Narayen had anticipated, the era of the cloud finally came. However, since Adobe had already been ahead of the competition, they essentially obliterated the competition, but they also made cloud computing their own.
Even though there are many benefits of utilizing hostile methods, this strategy won’t work for every single business or individual. Those who are more passive can make obstructions that will decrease the speed of your company’s development.
The author had told the story of Gail Jones, the CEO of Tiptop Snacks. She had been so troubled by the decreasing sweets market as well as the increase in competition. Therefore, she enlisted a consultant that had the answer to how to get her managers to think more about attack versus defence in regards to the business’s strategy.
Every single one of her managers had created a new, tough mentality, and used courageous lateral thinking for everyday operations and to plan for future expansion. The problem was, though, that those three managers didn’t think that they had the capacity to do so. Therefore, even though they had been valued staff, their passiveness was holding back the business so they had to be let go.

Identify crucial decision nodes in your firm and fill them with employees who have the right talents.

Have you figured out where you needed to look for the seeds within your industry and how to chart out the road forward? That’s awesome! Now, you have to be sure that your business’s internal decision-making lines up along that road as well.
Each person that makes the main decisions within your business needs to understand what central choices your company will be making in the future. In addition, nodes, which are the points where your decisions will be made, have to be pinpointed.
In order to pinpoint those decision nods, begin with the action that has to be made and then work in reverse.
For example, in order to make it in a foreign market like Guatemala, decisions about the business’s item mix and pricing has to be made by local managers instead of those executives that are far away in New York City. Having specialist knowledge of the local market is what makes local Guatemalan managers a very important decision node for favorable company growth.
As soon as you’ve pinpointed your nodes, you need to make sure that your staff have the skills necessary for succeeding. Important decisions need expertise and a variety of talents, anything from communications, to negotiations, and all the way to marketing.
Staff in decision nodes also have to be in agreement with company objectives and they can’t use their power to stop changes that they aren’t a fan of from happening. Those inferences that were made and the elements that impact those decisions need to be looked after and analyzed.
Acme Media, the communications company, utilized that process to make sure that it moved very well from print to digital. Numerous meetings had helped get the company ready for that switch, however, regardless, things didn’t go forward as effortlessly as expected.
The CEO of the company had finally pinpointed which senior officer was being a stick in the mud. That staff member had been liable for driving the digital transition, however they had made their name in print media and they didn’t have enough skills and ambition to make that change. Therefore, they brought in fresh talent and the transition moved forward much better.

Get ahead of the game and reach your goals quicker by encouraging your team to come with you.

It’s really nice to have innovative ideas, however, there’s no reasoning behind them if you aren’t able to bring them to life. That being said, we understand that figuring out the logistics behind how to execute a radically new idea is not an easy feat. However, there are a few things that you can do.
Your plan needs to start out with a final destination. If you understand what it is that you want to achieve, work in the opposite direction to pinpoint the steps required. Those steps are going to be your short-term goals.
Even though working in the direction of those goals may slow down short-term performance, that is only for a short span of time. Making a transition isn’t every simple, however, it is worth it if you’d like your business to do well in the long run. The ultimate goal, not just those quarterly sales numbers, is what perceptive business leaders keep in mind.
Tata Consultancy, back in 2014, decided to make a new business to assist customers with making the digital transition. The journey to that end goal was brought to life by charting out several short-term goals like recruiting software experts as well as negotiating contracts.
Tata’s Seeta Hariharan had enlisted 300 engineers in a seven months, a central short-term step that had brought more progress closer to their end goal to life. A solid plan has to have solid team members in order to bring it to life!
By managing constant communication across leaders, managers, as well as team members, you can make sure that your business remains on track.
Ivan Seidenberg, the Verizon CEO, had proposed a visionary plan to make a nationwide fiber optic cable network in America. This project had been incredibly expensive.
In order to make sure that the costs didn’t stop the project from happening, Seidenberg had set several meetings to make sure that board members were updated on altering external factors, such as competitor activity, up and coming technology, as well as new regulations.
Seidenberg had also brought in specialists to speak about new opportunities and ideas for up and coming developments. Since they kept tabs on each and every thing that could influence the project, Seidenberg guaranteed that the business remained on the right path and were able to reach their final objective.

Final Summary

When developing your perceptual acuity, you can figure out how to pinpoint the seeds of structural ambiguities that may rattle up the market in the long run. Take advantage of your knowledge in order to force change within your company well before that change actually occurs, and work that kind of attack attitude into your management circles.

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