Is Your Business Ready for “What’s Next?”

It doesn’t seem that long ago when many business leaders were talking about their strategic plans and how it fit into their “2020 Vision” – that pithy twist on a phrase that implied everything would be in clear focus when arriving upon this distant but magical year.

Well, we’ve arrived.

And so, we must ask ourselves: how clear and innovative was that 2020 vision? And now what’s next?

To be transparent, I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year thinking, planning, and preparing for what’s next in our business. And I must admit that it also has come with a fair amount of questioning and maybe some second-guessing. I’m sure I’m not alone here.

But the thing about strategic planning, vision statements, and goals is that in order for them to mean anything – and ultimately drive success – these lofty drafts demand that we take action. We have to throw our darts toward the target. We must balance plans and goals with action in pursuit of a clear answer to what’s next.

For nearly two decades our team has been serving clients in their pursuits to find answers to the question “what’s next?” And we’ve been able to help them find those answers by leveraging a cross functional team of creative “right brained” designers – industrial designers, UI/UX experts, researchers and strategists, with creative “left brained” technologists experienced in AI, IoT connectivity and digital transformation.

In many businesses we see that diverse working styles and team members often don’t collaborate well together – if at all. But because we apply a human-centered design (HCD) process (also known as Design Thinking) to all that we do, we’re intentionally melding and balancing our team’s left- and right-brain expertise to solve complex challenges. And it’s how we can lead businesses through the art and science of what’s next.

We know this balance, and specifically the HCD process, is necessary if we’re going to help companies realize what’s next, and make them believe that innovation is their business. This is the dart we’re throwing toward our target: lifting up and transforming more businesses that want to innovate, but don’t know how. 

 

If your inclination is to ask why – why must we innovate? – consider your legacy as a leader.

Either you are committed to being an innovator, one who is bent toward progress and offering something new, better, or different that brings value to the world. Or, you are simply a leader overseeing existing systems, a superintendent of the status quo.

It begs the question – which type of leader do you want to be known as? Will you innovate or will your simply uphold the old invention until it has lost its utility?

This idea of what’s next, is something I’m going to be talking about a lot in the coming year. But it is not simply an idea, it is the action of what’s next that I believe matters, and I want to invite you along for the ride – perhaps to take action that you never could have imagined or even thought was possible for your business.

Visions and plans with 2020 end dates are expiring. That means figuring out what’s next needs to be in progress right now. Will your plan be to innovate or uphold the old invention? What’s next for your business?

 

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