How (and Why) to Future-Proof Your Business

    Longevity is critical in business. It is the difference between building a sturdy structure to weather the effects of time and change – and building a temporary shelter poised to crumble after a season of misfortune.

    And, in order to achieve longevity, you have to future-proof your business. This isn’t a new concept, but it is a misunderstood one. In this article, let’s make a case for future-proofing and explore strategies for ensuring organizational longevity.

    Why Future-Proof Your Business?

    Presumably, your business isn’t in it for a quick buck and a quick exit. You want to build something timeless. Along the way, you might even want to change things – to upend your industry, change minds and leave a better world behind.

    As such, future-proofing a business can help ensure:

    • That you are in an advantageous position to adapt, even as disruptive innovations and technologies transform your industry.
    • That you continue to nurture and court talent – within your organization and through outside acquisition.
    • That you implement sustainable practices that enable your entire industry to keep moving forward.
    • That you respond to and capitalize on trends as they emerge.

    Finally, you want to ensure that, as we do in our personal lives, your business continually monitors its health in a proactive way.

    How to Future-Proof an Enterprise

    Humans intuitively understanding of the value of forward-thinking. We understand that we aren’t just beings shuffling through the present; we are stewards of a body and mind that will (hopefully) last well into the future. It’s why we strive to eat healthy, learn new skills, plan our financial futures, and imagine a better world.

    The same is true of a business. You need to get comfortable with the cycle of imagination, anticipation, and self-improvement.

    To start, get out of the “near-future mindset.” When we talk about the future, we aren’t talking about eight months down the pike. That’s the domain of spreadsheets and accounting documents. If you want to future-proof in earnest, start looking at the really big picture.

    Nikolas Badminton, chief futurist at Futurist .com and leading speaker, has described businesses that can shift their mindsets from “what is” to “what if” as having “superpowers.” He shared in an interview with Forbes that “There is a superpower that comes with curiosity and wonder which helps fuel thinking about what comes in 10, 20 and even 50-plus years.”

    You don’t have to travel the path alone. There are experts out there who specialize in future-proofing businesses – so capitalize on their knowledge and wisdom. You can hire a futurist speaker for your next corporate event to grapple with the big questions about futureproofing or even hire a futurist consultant to collaborate on the road ahead.

    If your business needs to write lines of code, it hires the best programmer on the market. So, it stands to reason that if your mission is to future-proof, you find the best futurist out there.

    Finally, kick into action. Put firm and forward-thinking policies in place to adopt emerging technologies. Stay abreast of current trends in employee satisfaction to nurture a hospitable environment for talent acquisition. Respond to consumer demands in the present but try to engineer the kind of consumer environment you want to see in the future. And above all, be brave – think outside the industrial box.

    Longevity is an attainable goal, but it requires that cycle – imagination, anticipation and self-improvement. That’s how you build a structure that lasts.

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