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Challenges in Dealing with What’s Next

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To gain speed and traction, executives need to provide clarity on what their organization needs
to do next… from market positioning to a variety of tactical responses.  However, there are
challenges to be faced in gaining this desired clarity, such as the following:

1. Separating real external influences and trends from those just appearing to be real or
those which are inconsequential.  Is there really a “defining moment” here?

2. Obtaining unfiltered (as well as clearly up-to-date) information.  This can be anything
from so-called “objective” competitive intelligence to all aspects of internal
communications.  How much BS is being flung around here?  Do we really have enough
reliable information to decide what to do next?

3. Dealing with complexity.  Given a new situation or one that we haven’t dealt with
successfully before, can we grasp and visualize its realistic upside potential, as well all of
the inherent difficulties in capturing its true potential?  Can we see it in its entirety from
beginning to end?

4. Finding creative capacity.  Do we have enough time, as well as the skill, to address
dilemmas and challenges and come up with the necessary breakthroughs and game
changers to make a difference?  Can we overcome the fear of the untested or the
unknown?

5. Staying nimble.  With pressure to be thoughtful and strategic, perhaps even methodical
in executing our plan, are we missing what may be perceived as spontaneous
opportunities?  Can we react fast enough to “What’s next?” when it’s not readily
apparent or predictable?

6. Measuring progress along the way.  With major strategic initiatives, intended to respond
to “What’s next?”, it can be difficult to measure the progress in a tangible enough way
to give everyone confidence that we are still heading in the right direction.  Where’s the
evidence?  What does the evidence really tell us?

To address these challenges, it can be helpful to connect frequently with an engaged,
trustworthy board of directors, a dynamic advisory board or a “been there, done that” business
advisor.

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