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Managing trends is one of the most important skill a person should have and know about.

With the current fast-paced changes that organizations are going through and the new challenges they are facing with companies merging and restructuring, being only an expert in your own field will make you miss the boat. To be successful in business requires a full understanding of the core management disciplines, so that you can speak business language and understand what is being debated by management and be able to better support your organization’s corporate strategy and model.

I like this tool from the book rebuilding Business Models by Harvard Business Review:

To assess your company’s vulnerability, try this diagnostic: On separate index cards, write down all the important initiatives under way in your organization. Then create three boxes and label them “Box 1: Manage the Present,” “Box 2: Selectively Forget the Past,” and “Box 3: Create the Future.”


Next, take a few minutes to imagine your industry in five, 10, or even 20 years—as far out as you can reasonably foresee.


Consider all the forces of change your industry faces—technology, customer demographics, regulation, globalization, and so on. With those forces in mind, put your organization’s initiatives in the appropriate boxes: those intended to improve today’s business performance in box 1; those aimed at stopping something underperforming products and services, obsolete policies and practices, outdated assumptions and mind-sets—in box 2; and those that prepare your organization for the long term in box 3.


For companies to endure, they must get the forces of preservation (box 1), destruction (box 2), and creation (box 3) in the right balance. Striking that balance is the CEO’s most important task, but most companies overwhelmingly favor box 1. Forces of preservation reign supreme. Forces of destruction and creation are overshadowed, outmatched, and out of luck. To be sure, the work of preservation—the day- to-day execution of the existing business model— is vitally important. CEOs must get box 1 right or their tenures will be short. They must concentrate daily on performance excellence and continuous improvement, as companies such as Wal-Mart and Southwest Airlines have done for years. The best box 1 companies are sleek and efficient,

To win both today and tomorrow, CEOs must operate in all three boxes simultaneously. They must recognize that boxes 2 and 3 are not about what the business will be doing in 20 years; they are about the preparations it must make today. That’s easier said than done, for it’s not only a matter of balancing re- sources across the three boxes. The CEO must also know exactly what to destroy and what to create.

Managing trends is a skill which will surely take you to heights.

Managing trends contributes a lot to your business.

Unordered & Ordered Lists

In Strategy making we are accustomed to:

  • BOX 1(You are accustomed to): Data-driven analysis
  • BOX 2(You must Recognise that): Rich data about the future are not available. The best you can do is to consider long-term trends and potential nonlinear shifts.
  • BOX 3(So you can): Create a separate, parallel strategy–making process for box 3. Involve nontraditional voices.

In Organisational Design

  • BOX 1(You are accustomed to): Perfect alignment
  • BOX 2(You must Recognise that): An organization that is perfectly aligned can operate only in box 1.
  • BOX 3(So you can): Create zero-based, custom-built subunits for box 3 projects.

Forward-looking CEOs must harness the power of the past, the present, and the future in three critical disciplines.  

Author: mealone

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