Steve Jobs famously said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Tips for Connecting the Dots in Business

How does this impact planning done by companies like yours? How do you connect the dots in your business, and ensure that you go ahead boldly but still stay safe? Here are some recommendations to balance the two:

  • Understand how technology is changing your whole world. Technology is asking us to go into new ways of thinking and doing, sometimes without the ‘way’ existing yet. This requires a strong ability to understand what is happening inside and outside your company.
  • Understand your future customers (and your customers in the future). You may be serving customers right now that do not even know how their own business will change. Make it your business to understand it on their behalf. They will thank you.
  • Understand exactly why you exist. What is your company’s purpose? If it is to sell only to customers you already know, you may be in trouble. Things will change right under your feet.
  • Develop the ability to understand your future. What futures are possible, which ones are probable, and which ones would you prefer to be part of? Do you realize that you have a choice? How should you act on this choice?
  • Act quickly to learn from what you are doing. What are you doing right and what are you doing wrong? How should you change your approach tomorrow? Learn quickly, fail quickly, and adapt quickly.

Are you willing to make mistakes and control how large those mistakes will be? Are you willing to risk? How is life around your company evolving, and how are you reacting?

Be brave and approach the future with a willingness to learn, but also to make mistakes. Try and mitigate the risk of making mistakes that can hurt your company, but keep trying new things. We are entering completely uncharted waters.

Are you ready to build a future-ready company?

Discover what strategic innovation means for your business by downloading my FREE Strategic Innovation Guide