14

During June’s #Ideachat, a side conversation developed over the challenges faced by individuals who can uncannily anticipate future business situations. One comment was watching people make mistakes which could clearly be anticipated is a source of great frustration. My comment was the ability to anticipate the future allows you to help influence business situations for the positive instead of waiting for a train wreck to happen. Besides, I’ve seen people use the ability to accurately anticipate future business situations to add to their personal mystique and enhance perceptions about their contributions.

The #Ideachat conversation got me thinking about individuals I’ve worked with who are especially adept at knowing what the future holds.

11 Possible Do’s

Here are 11 behaviors, qualities, skills, and talents you can work on to more effectively anticipate the future and use it to your advantage:

1. Do rigorous homework on your situation without disclosing your effort or everything you’ve learned.

2. Hone your ability to analyze a situation and truly understand the real motivations of the individuals involved.

3. To better understand personal motivations, substitute other words for “money” in the old maxim, “Follow the money.” Some good ones to use? Power, recognition, pride, or havoc, as appropriate.  Doing this will explain both historical and many future behaviors.

4. Make a quick mental calculation of any risk you’re considering taking before you take it. Take ALL the smart risks and SOME of those not so smart which could lead to spectacular results.

5. Be a confidant. Always listen to people who like to share secrets, especially true secrets.

6. Cultivate a personal flair for the dramatic.

7. Improve your observation and insight skills. Share your observations and insights only when they’ll have dramatic impact.

8. Don’t speak immediately when asked a question. Long pauses and deliberation add mystique.

9. Use stories and examples which, on the surface, have little relevance to the matter at hand, but ultimately unveil themselves to be right on point.

10. Don’t always follow the same physical interpersonal, mental, or virtual paths.  Be unexpected. Show up in surprising places.

11. It’s more important to ACT on your insights than SHARE them.

1 Important Don’t

There’s one important “don’t” as well: Don’t say, “I told you so.” Part of effectively using your strong understanding of the future is being subtle and not rubbing it in peoples’ faces!

What things do you do to better anticipate the future in your business?Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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14 Responses to “Anticipate Future Business Situations with a Little Mystery”

  1. Stephen Lahey says:

    Excellent advice, Mike. The “Don’t” is especially valuable to remember.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Stephen! You’re right . . . the don’t might trump all the do’s put
      together!

  2. Alex says:

    Great post! #6 is a fun and unexpected bit of advice.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a surprise Alex that I couldn’t find a good article to link to on
      cultivating a sense of drama in business. Having had a couple of bosses who
      were great at it, it’s definitely a future post opportunity.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Always a pleasure to have you add to the #ideachat conversation Mike, and great ideas in this post! I especially liked “Don’t speak immediately when asked a question.” Not because I like adding mystique, but taking in the situation–result of being a “highly sensitive person” I guess. 😉 http://bit.ly/jlVQlh  
    Hope to see you again on July 9th for the next #ideachat. I know it’s early at 9 am EST and especially for you on Central Time, but will have the coffee and crowd ready! Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Heck, by 8 a.m. CT on a Saturday, I’ve been up a few hours. And even if not, #Ideachat is always worth it! As I tweeted last time there are so many things to love about #ideachat: It’s global. You get to follow great new people. It’s an
      intimate chat with intriguing topics. It makes me think and there’s never just 1 answer!

  4. This post has WOW factor, Mike.  I enjoyed number three and plan to make it like a fun game as I analyze.  Thanks for all these insights.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re welcome, Robyn! Would love to hear how using “Follow the _______” works in your analysis!

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