How To Use Anticipation As A Powerful Strategy Tool
Anticipation is simply Insights into anticipated future events or other’s behavior that you can turn into an advantage (e.g., investing in a property that you think will increase in value).
In business, we think of anticipation in terms of potential changes in consumer demands or actions competitors are likely to take in the future. (e.g., Netfilicks vs Blockbuster).
Mostly we worry about current competitors and potential new entrants into our market. At the same time, competitors are trying to anticipate what you are going to do.
Most strategic anticipations draw on predictable “downstream” results such as;
1 Results of events that have already happened
2 Trends already at work
3 Predictable economic or social dynamics
You have to be careful when you do “standard” forecasting because we tend to predict three things and then take the middle one (like shoppers do in stores when they have three choices).
Also, we tend to extrapolate a continuous rising curve to future developments, which may not be valid. e.g., n the 1970s, the price of oil kept rising rapidly to $100 a barrel, and then oil was so valuable in the ground that pro\ducers started to pump more oil, increasing supply, and prices began to tumble.)
You don’t have to be a psychic to anticipate what might happen in the future. Just look around, pay attention to consumer habits and other trends. These trends will be in plain sight.
Next, you have to look at pivot points.
To achieve strategic leverage, you have to have insight into specific pivot points that you can focus on and use resources against to gain a significant advantage. These pivot points could be products, technology, processes, operations, or business models. You are looking for specific insights that have the potential to increase demand and leverage your advantage
Finally, You Have To Concentrate
After you have identified your pivot point, you have to concentrate your talents and resources on exploiting it. When you focus on fewer objectives, you can generate more significant payoffs.
Also, your company may have some constraints you have to deal with, and there may be a threshold requirement (like the amount of advertising and sales requires to break through the everyday noise).
It may also make sense to introduce a new product region by region, concentrating its advertising where the product is new to spur adoption.
Also, it may be preferable to dominate a small market segment over having an equal number of clients who represent only a sliver of a large market.
Is keeping track of and anticipating future changes and tends on your radar? Is it on every team member’s radar? Do you have touchpoints with your entire organization every so often to discuss strategic alternatives?