Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors and leaders in the world, is nicknamed the Oracle of Omaha. Not because he knows gravity will drop a stone when thrown up in the air (we all know that). Rather, this man has earned his nickname because he has repeatedly and correctly predicted market changes, and which organizations will thrive in the aftermath.
Good leaders can anticipate (to a degree) the future of their businesses and take mitigating measures before disaster strikes. Predictive abilities ensure that, instead of waiting around to put out fires, you act at the very first sign of smoke.
Business leaders often focus on reaction rather than prevention. This is an ill fated approach to running a business. We all know that prevention is better than cure.
Whether it’s avoiding major losses, making well-thought-out investment decisions, or hiring the right talent, anticipating and solving problems before they happen is a critical attribute of an intelligent leader.
Of course there’s no surefire way to anticipate the future. But, you don’t have to be a psychic or a prophet to precisely anticipate changes in the business world. Thinking creatively and intelligently can boost your forward-thinking capabilities and help you plan appropriately.
Predicting The Future of Your Business Using 4 Valuable Tips
The tips below will sharpen your predictive abilities and help you anticipate events accurately.
1. Check The Trends
Numbers don’t lie. So use them in predictive analysis. Study the data you’ve mined over time and look for patterns in your business and industry.
For example, leverage Twitter’s and Facebook’s built-in analytics to determine the times and days your prospects will most likely engage with your posts. What social media posts are getting the biggest reaction and why? When do your tweets get the most shares and re-tweets?
The patterns are most likely to continue if you see trends in your data and statistics. This rule is true, provided there are no disruptions or external forces. This encompasses both positive and negative trends and allows business leaders to get ahead of the curve and connect with a larger audience.
2. Understand The Principle Of Cause And Effect.
“Every single action in the world produces a reaction, no matter what.”
-The universal law of cause and effect
This scientific principle suggests that everything directly or indirectly results from something else. Therefore, predicting the future as leaders depends on knowing how this law applies in the business world.
Let’s look at marketing data again. Let’s say your social media engagement is reducing to undesirable levels. When applying the principle of cause and effect, reduced social media engagement is the effect. And if you dig a little deeper, you can identify the cause.
Once you understand why customers are no longer engaging with your content, you can fix the cause and prevent the problem in future posts.
3. Smart Leaders Don’t Do It Alone. They Involve The Team.
“I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?”
Benjamin Disraeli—the former prime minister of the United Kingdom
Great leaders understand that bringing change and solving future problems require a team that is connected and feels included. It’s not just about them and their leadership capabilities.
So, if your team members recognize potential loopholes and pitfalls, let them brainstorm solutions. Give them a chance to solve the issues they see in the line of duty.
As a result, your team becomes more invested in your overall success—because you will not be the only one anticipating and solving business problems.
Read More: Empathy As An Essential Leadership Skill
4. Encourage Input (And Really Listen)
Feedback is wisdom as long as it’s constructive and relevant. When predicting problems, listen to and trust your team member, especially if they are personally invested in the business and have been around for a number of years. With this experience and working in the trenches day by day, they may provide a new perspective that reveals hidden issues you might be missing from your position.
Andy Bush is President of Bush Marketing. Contact him today at 416-214-4298 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion about how Bush Marketing can help your website do more for your business.