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Peer Into The Future

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January is a good time to look to the future. It starts in the first week with the big CES show in Las Vegas where concept vehicles, prototypes of all sorts, and advanced ideas for technology are discussed. This week, the heads of governments and companies are meeting at the annual World Economic Forum in DAVOS, Switzerland to discuss today and tomorrow. In less than 30 seconds last Sunday, the future for two NFL teams changed dramatically. Yesterday I attended a luncheon put on by the Risk Management Association with John Mitchell, former US Bank economist, talking about the risk for the future based on changing demographic and economic data he sees. His last slide postulated questions for 10 years from now such as:

  • What will the supply chain look like with the new rules for EVs?
  • Who will be our international trading partners?
  • What will drug supply in the USA be like after price controls are in place?
  • How will industrial policy play out with the Chips Act, IRA, IIJA and more?
  • What will the labor market be like post the boomer exodus?

Perhaps you are starting a new strategic plan review for the next 3-10 years that involves growth, acquisitions, focusing on the core competencies, getting lean, applying agile, automating to compensate for reduced manpower availability? You might be looking to do your own envisioning process. I participated in such an exercise a couple week ago for a trade association. The industry they are in thinks and plans out 20 years, so the exercise was related to what the trade association needs to be like in 2050. That may sound crazy, but it is driven by companies making 2035, 2040 and 2050 commitments for ESG based on government commitments of the Paris Climate Accord.

Maybe you are doing something less aggressive and looking to do some scenario planning since there is so much uncertainty if the economy is going up or down in the next year. I just read a good interview with the second generation leader of Chic-fil-A who did benchmarking, but not against other QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) but against the level of service provided by Ritz-Carlton. I loved the quote from the head of Ritz-Carlton, “Dan, you may be better than McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, but you got nothing to be proud of. You’re just the best of a bad lot.” My take away is:

Read the entire interview at https://chiefexecutive.net/chick-fil-as-dan-cathy-on-exceeding-customer-expectations/

As you move forward, consider surrounding yourself with a group of individuals with similar motivations. A Peer Advisory Council can provide you new insights that help you to make your business all that it can be and