Top 10 ideas for capitalising on the future
2. Write a painted picture document – allow yourself the luxury of writing your dreams and aspirations down. Share it with your team. Keep in mind this is a 'what will the future look like' document not a 'how do we get there' plan.
3. Have a place where you write loud and proud what the world of your business will be like in the future. Use pictures to help visualise this.
4. Focus on a few things – choose which tasks fall under the in and which tasks comprise the on the business. For me, the in might be ensuring I answer calls from customers and respond to emails. Whereas, the on might be writing a vision document or creating strategic partnerships. Write a 'stop doing' list. Know where you spend time in doing the every day- nitty gritty tasks versus on the business.
5. Listen to customers, have the feedback loop in place – but remember they cannot imagine beyond what they know. Customers will give you evolution not revolution. ('If I had asked my customers they would have asked me for a faster horse' – Henry Ford).
6. Challenge the status quo for the sake of it. Have an 'imagine' meeting. What would you do if you were a competitor to you? Question why do we do things. Create some worse case scenarios and work out how you would handle them. What if you lost 10 top customers?
7. In a global economy people want to be treated as individuals. They want their jobs to be personalised, customised and just for them. What are you doing to make people feel unique and special? How are they noticed?
8. 'The planet is worth the benefit of the doubt', says Rupert Murdoch. This philosophy has the power to create revolutions in business practices and provide us with great opportunities. This kind of thinking must make you consider which part of the wave you are going to be on... are you going to be a leader or be forced to follow?
9. People are living longer. Imagine what the world will be like when the retirement age moves to 75 and people live to 115. Forty years of non-income producing retirement is a long time. We need to enrich our working lives now so that we don't burn out.
10. Remember whatever idea you come up with, it needs to capture your imagination and inspire you. 'Are we having fun yet?' As more people question why they do things and the impact they have – the more people realise that having some fun, whether it be at work or home, is important. There is a melding of the work week and social time because the reality is we are looking to have a good time no matter where we are.
Naomi Simson is the 2008 National Telstra Women's Business Award winner for Innovation. Naomi was also a finalist for the Australian HR Awards and a finalist for the BRW Most Admired Business Owner Award in 2008. Also in 2008 RedBalloon achieved a 97% Hewitt employee engagement score. One of Australia's outstanding female entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a professional speaker inspiring middle to high-level leaders on employer branding, engagement and reward and recognition. Naomi writes a blog and has written a book sharing the lessons from her first five years.