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One of my business partners from South Africa shared this poem with me.
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
I often share this poem with clients when I am facilitating their strategic planning. They are always amused by the poem, then we discuss the importance of continually scanning the future environment.
Some organizations do not scan at all – BAD! These are the kind of organizations that are negatively impacted by a change out of “left field.”
Some organizations scan once a year – BETTER, but still not enough. The world is constantly changing, so only looking once at the possible trends that you could impact you is not sufficient.
I recommend you scan regularly for possible changes that might impact you in the future. Is there a new trend happening in another industry or country that might affect your organization? Maybe this might not happen for 8 months or 3 years, but it could be something that might positively or negatively impact you.
“Regularly” means different things to my clients. A technical organization may need to scan monthly, but at least quarterly you must lift up your head from your current work and see what trends, opportunities, and threats you could face in the future.
So, it doesn’t matter is you think you are a lion, or if you think you are a gazelle – scan the future environment!
Contact me at Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com to talk about scanning!
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