Tuesday, October 6, 2009


 On one hand it is clear that changes are speeding up, in business, technology, the market, legislation, demographics and so on. It is a challenge to keep up to date with all these new developments.
On the other hand there is an increased focus on the inner workings of an organization. Most of the attention is directed towards restructuring, lay-offs and financial survival.

This paradox creates even more challenges and thus tension. The more you focus internally, the more you miss threats as well as opportunities in the marketplace. Your internal, operational focus widens the gap with the frontrunners in your industry.

If you want to be a frontrunner yourself, you have to make sure that your organization learns continuously from these external trends. And then you have to adapt yourself to these new learnings and conditions. Therefore it is crucial to build a team of explorers, who continuously monitor the market and propose changes for the internal way of working.

It is likely that these explorers will be a part of marketing. And you need a culture of engagement and learning. To get a culture of engagement and learning, you need diversity, conflict and agility in your team (Linda Hill, Harvard).

These explorers should be facilitated to:
-       attend seminars and workshops, within and outside your industry
-       give lectures, internal and external
-       form partnerships with government, universities and NGO’s
-       read books, blogs, research reports etc
-       fully use social media
-       network, cross-functionally and cross-industries
-       visit leading, state of the art companies
-       run internal brainstorm sessions
-       translate external learnings into internal changes

This investment will allow you to close the gap with the frontrunners in your industry and even makes it possible to become number 1!

So, what are you doing to support the explorers?