Sense-making and trendsetting

Economic downturns are like storms. They don’t show-up in the face. They always start small and in the distant past, gather momentum and show-up when you are not ready. If you build capabilities to track the contributing factors, analyse the trajectory based on previous experience, it is possible to predict. Like storm-notifications and rescue effort preparedness. But still, damages occur and need attention to fix and get-back-up. But, as we learn and adapt, predictability and impact will multiply.

You need enhanced capabilities for anticipating trends and events before they are fully apparent. And then for adapting. Be it business or own career progressions. When you miss the signals and preparation necessary, negative impact is higher than manageable. Those who practice this sense-making, build their strength. Turn that in to a competitive advantage. For many others, they appear as trendsetters. 

Market research helps when done with an intention to understand, instead of proving a specific point. So is customer feedback. These will help to build next product / service and retire, to keep a performing portfolio. Companies with over decades of existence use this sense making to help them stay ahead of the curve. Follower-companies mimic what leaders do and stay afloat. You need some method of sense-making and adaptability to survive for a longer time. But at an individual level, what do you do? 

While on a specific role and with a set of skills built as a portfolio, you should revisit and manage both better. Check what’s next in the current role, find what skill you need. Acquire and start playing without waiting for someone to tell you. If you see no clear path ahead in the role, side-step. Look around and beyond. Discuss with your mentor. Scan the market. Talk with leading recruiters, to understand. Not to shop. Know what is required. Acquire skills and start playing that role. Again, without waiting for someone to tell you. When you learn and adapt, results show-up in the face of those who can’t miss to acknowledge. Be seen in your community both inside and outside the company. Volunteer and contribute to areas that are not your normal day-to-day set work-role. But important for your company and the community.

Politicians master this art early in the game. They take their time, build rapport, skill and community. But stay rooted in what they are good at. If you are good in sales. Stay there. Be relevant in the context of your business and your customer’s business. If you are good at Finance, something is true. If you keep changing your core strength, you will not be ready anytime to lead. Focus on the most important three. All other items are part of the mix. You can keep refreshing them to help you progress well.

Start small, test what works, stick to methods that help you with continuous progress. When you stick to methods that keeps you where you are, it is not useful. That’s the method a lot of folks follow. If you want to be different, adapt different sense-making and adaptability methods. 

Once you learn, feel happy and proud with self-progression, make it a habit. You are a trend-setter. Everyone around you will be keen in following you! Follow your passion with a method that helps you with continuous progress. 

be a #dreamerdoer

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