Up Periscope – keeping an eye on the third horizon
When formulating strategy it is behoven upon the leadership to look beyond the the immediate future and even the medium term and look to the “third horizon” for inspiration on what the future for the organisation might look like.
Merhad Baghai et al termed the three horizon model where the first horizon represents here and now, the second horizon the things we are developing to bring to market in the foreseeable future and the third horizon those innovative ideas that could become products and services one day.
Like a submarine commander a good leader has the periscope up, looking far into the distance for risks and changes in the environment. The good leader is interpreting the signals that she sees, estimating risks and determining a course.
Imagine if the leaders at Nokia had seen the emergence of the smartphone, or Kodak recognising that digital imaging was the future. How different would those companies look now?
Good leaders know there is a digital tsunami that is impacting every sector, good leaders see it as an opportunity not a threat. Good leaders are positioning their organisation to benefit from the new order, not to be eaten by it.
Good leaders will be looking at every aspect of their ecosystem, using a PESTLE model or equivalent to ensure they are looking under every rock. And paddling to catch the tsunami wave.
Remember the future is coming whether you are ready for it or not. It is not locked in to your planning timelines and it certainly doesn’t care what you have done in the past!
So get that periscope up, take a note of what you are seeing and hearing and get your team together and discuss the implications and the opportunities. Planning is no longer a 3 to 5 year cyclic activity, it is something that should be on your mind every day.
The future is coming, ready or not ……………