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Identify the Future Best Practice in Locating Changes in Irresistible Forces

Mar 29, 2008
To find out how the best organizations will locate changes in irresistible forces, you should begin by being sure that you have identified all of the irresistible forces that you feel are influencing or could strongly affect your enterprise's effectiveness relative to competitors and alternate products and services.

For example, if you make steel for automobiles, in addition to your steel competitors you would also have to consider the possibility of aluminum, other metals, plastics, and various composite materials becoming more competitive with your product offerings. If car use could be substituted for, in part, by improved telecommunications, home offices and Internet shopping, you would need to consider the irresistible forces behind those trends as well.

Most people performing this task will look too narrowly. Have as many people as you can check your organization's thinking on this point. You only have to miss one key irresistible force experience a severe disadvantage.

Measurements and Monitors: Become a Measurement Maven

Next, for each of the irresistible forces, you need to find out what measurements others have been using in the past and are using now to most predictably capture changes in direction, speed or character of the irresistible force in question. Here is a key clue: Where the stakes are largest, that's where you'll probably find the biggest efforts to create understanding of irresistible forces.

For example, if your operation is smaller than others who are affected by this same irresistible force, be sure to contact those that are larger. At the same time, if smaller firms are literally betting their entire existence on their ability to monitor this irresistible force, you may find excellent results coming from the focus provided by their need to survive.

What you'll probably learn from this examination is that almost everyone does their trend checking in pretty much the same way, looking at the same data and interpreting them similarly. That perspective is useful because it can teach you how and when they'll perceive any switch in direction.

For example, trends in consumer spending are usually monitored by looking at the latest actual sales trends in the economy, the ability of consumers to spend (income and costs), and the confidence that consumers have in the future (influencing their willingness to exchange cash or debt for a benefit now). However, you'll also find that some companies have been or are looking at the trends in vastly different ways, using hundreds of different perspectives and measurements. This part of your search will prove to be more instructive.

You want to test all of these ways of measuring change in irresistible forces by asking the following questions:

-Which ones are most often accurate in locating continuing shifts in the irresistible force?

-Which ones are best at the earliest identification of a shift?

-Which possible shifts in direction are all of these measures poor at identifying?

-Which measures would be better at locating the shifts that currently aren't being well identified?

You also need to anticipate that others will be trying to improve their ability to monitor these same areas, what rate of improvement has been occurring in these monitoring measurements, and what new sources of information could prove to be useful in better monitoring practices. Using this anticipation, you should next develop a composite picture of the most effective monitoring methods that could be in place over the next few years, and what their strengths and weaknesses might be.

In making this assessment, be sure to consider how existing and new measurements could be made more accurate and timely by using them in combination with each other. In most cases, a combination of at least three measurements will provide much more useful information than any single one or combination of two. And for the best results, you want one of these measurements to be based on current information about future plans.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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