Wayne Gretzky famously quoted that a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. Good ones play where it is now.
As an effective leader, you must have a vision. You must then conceive an effective strategy to realize that vision. Tactical execution of that strategy should then follow.
A successful CEO once declared, “You can work a little harder than the next management team, and you can work a little smarter, but you have to catch those macro-economic waves”. He was talking about playing where the puck is going to be.
This is especially true in today’s world where disruptive innovations are more the norm and the playing field is much more level than ever before. If you simply play where the puck is, you will be left behind very soon. Whether you are working on an innovation, an entrepreneur or planning your next career move, you have to keep the future in mind.
Everyday leaders are constantly faced with making decisions. And some of those decisions surely involve foreseeing the future value or impact of decisions made today.
Think of the decisions to be made in any of the following roles:
· Parenting your child – guiding them in picking careers for the future (that will be valued, in demand longer and relatively insulated from automation)
· Getting an advanced degree or learning a new skill (investing in yourself)
· Starting an entrepreneurship
· Moving jobs
· Moving residences
· Selecting the right stock or fund to invest for the longer term
For each of the above, you need to have a good idea of “where the puck is going to be”.
Some areas to focus your innovation model or ideas on:
The following are some areas where you can focus your innovation model / ideas or next career moves on – I’d love to hear of other areas, based upon your readings and experiences:
a. Troubled big companies – usually they end in a buyout (opportunity) or their laid-off employees begin new entrepreneurships. The article cites the examples of Nokia in Finland and RIM in Canada.
b. Regulatory changes provide entrepreneurial opportunities for services and solutions. These are also investment opportunities. The California law on serialization is a great opportunity for service and solution providers.
c. Internet usage in India is expected to go up to 330 mil in 2015 from 125 mil in 2012 – i.e. almost triple in 4 years – this is a huge opportunity.
d. Big data – all companies are collecting big data. The next decade will belong to statisticians as much as the last decade belonged to computer programmers. Hear it from the Chief Economist of Google, Hal Varian. President Obama signs groundbreaking Executive Order providing a new open data policy and providing access to government data to spur innovation.
e. More than 400 million Indians will have UIDs (uniform identification numbers) issued by end of 2012. With the growing internet usage, a number of solutions can be built on this platform.
f. As Facebook and Google demonstrated, first movers need not necessarily be the best companies. Look for areas where there are few players, and improve the solution.
g. Environment friendly. Any existing service or solution which can be improved from an environmental perspective will surely attract investment and customers.
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