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Think Sharper Masterclass

One of the most commonly-quoted stories you’ll hear about disruption is about Kodak, which was the market leader in film photography, but failed because it couldn’t adapt to digital photography.

There are many variations of this story, giving various reasons for Kodak’s demise: It had too much invested in film, it had grown so big it had stopped innovating, the organisational structure couldn’t cope with a digital world, and so on. There’s even a dramatic story that the Kodak employee who invented the first digital camera was told by senior management to hide his invention because it would destroy Kodak’s market.

The problem with these stories is that they aren’t true. What’s worse, they hide the real reason behind Kodak’s demise.

So why did Kodak fail?

They weren’t afraid that digital cameras would cannibalise their existing products, and they didn’t deliberately try to kill off a threat.

The first digital camera – built by a Kodak engineer – was as big as a toaster, took 20 seconds to take a picture, and the resolution was much lower than a print. Kodak’s management assessed it, but ignored it because they thought it would never be good enough to compete with film cameras. They didn’t account for exponential growth, which meant the improvements happened much faster than they expected. Their lack of foresight tarnished all their future decisions, which meant they were making progress, but not in the right direction.

It’s easy to look back now and criticise Kodak for its lack of foresight. But many businesses now are doing exactly the same thing. And they are doing it for exactly that reason: a lack of foresight.

Are you in the same situation?

Many organisations face a similar situation – mainly because of the culture of their teams and people. Some people are highly negative (disengaged), others are significantly positive (motivated “stars”), and the entire spectrum in between. If we plotted this on a graph, we would see different attitudes to change and decision-making:

What does it take to move your team “above the line”, so you’re all making sharper decisions, and faster?

The answer is foresight – the skill of looking ahead to the future (even an uncertain future), so you can make more reliable decisions. This is the missing element that holds people back from making better decisions.

This is not about predicting the future like a fortune teller or a lucky gambler. Rather, it’s about using the tools that futurists use to direct and drive your decisions.

That’s why I created the Think Sharper program.

Successful decision-making needs three elements: ideas, action, and foresight. And the key is to start with foresight.

The Think Sharper program teaches you how to think like a futurist, so you can apply foresight to your everyday decision-making and performance. You will build a habit of innovation and change in your team and organisation, so that innovation happens all the time and not just “when things quieten down” (which of course never happens!). Think healthy lifestyle, not crash diet.

This is for you if:

  • Your industry is changing fast, and you don’t know what’s around the corner
  • You don’t want to be caught napping when your business or industry is disrupted
  • You want to attract the best people – and keep the best people you have
  • You want to get your people out of their old ways of thinking
  • You don’t know how to get them thinking differently
  • You want to motivate your “star” employees

You will learn how to:

  • Identify the six kinds of disruptive forces that could affect your business
  • Scan the environment for trends and technology you can apply in your work
  • Evaluate the biggest threats and most exciting opportunities for the highest ROI
  • Turn your existing strengths and weaknesses into tools for embracing change
  • Understand the 10 key skills you need to thrive in the future workplace

Above all, you and your people will learn how to stay ahead of the game, make better decisions, and make them faster.

Pull from the future, don’t push from the past

The key difference when you start with foresight is that you start with a future focus. Instead of pushing change from the past, you pull it from the future.

When you think like a futurist, you can then act like an innovator. If you really want to create compelling change, first learn how to see into the future so you can design a path to success.

As a team, you stay ahead of the game. And as a leader, you can feel proud and excited to be leading this motivated team.

“To move faster and further, you need to pull more people than ever before into the strategic change game.”
— John Kotter, “Accelerate”, Harvard Business Review

How do you get started?

For more about the Think Sharper program, please get in touch with me and I would love to talk with you about how we can work together to integrate this in your organisation.