It’s a big world out there. As a business leader you may think you’re too busy to monitor who else is doing what in your industry, and you may think that what other people are doing doesn’t matter. And it may not. But what if it does? How do you know who’s doing what? What your competitors are thinking? How to stave off the next existential threat? Rebel Futures works with businesses who want to do new things, and who want to adopt the lean / agile / new / slick processes to do those things well. Even if what you do is unique or you do what you do better than everyone else, it’s important to be able to see challenges before they hit you. It’s important to Look Up.
Looking Up - Why?
Keeping tabs on your peers, competitors and those ‘two guys in a garage’ is never a bad idea. At worst, you’ll spend a small amount of time being entertained by what they’re up to and at best you might learn about early indicators of market shifts, new inventions and approaches, and be able to adapt your strategy to continue to lead.
- No business is unique - If what you do is brilliant, and even if you set the bar high, others will want to challenge you; it’s human nature.
- Our world is changing fast, and new technologies are being developed all the time that will change how we work. Day to day we do not see the change, but year on year we do. Businesses who grow in this fast changing world need to get ahead of the change and stay ahead of it.
- Business leaders often get consumed in the day to day running of their business and over time have less understanding of the industry / landscape of opportunities that helped create their business in the first place.
If seeing who else is doing what, how technology is evolving, and having an understanding of where thing are headed is not part of your day to day, you need to look up!
Looking Up - How?
- Prepare - Set aside a small amount of time and Do It Yourself. There’s nothing more powerful than knowing what’s happening, instead of relying on consultants or research teams to know for you.
- Think - about what you really want to know about. Is it tech innovation, investments, startups, products, politics - what really matters to your business. Who are the influencers who always find things out first. Who’s blog, column or Twitter feed should you read?
- Tool Up - Get Google Alerts, Feedly and Slack set up so you’re alerted to news about the stuff that’s important to you. Use Twitter for research (if you don’t already) - even if you don’t want to engage.
- Specialise - Ask the experts - by finding the right tools for your area of interest. For example if you need to know about the latest innovations to come out of tech startups or who’s investing in your competitors use Crunchbase and Angel List. If you want even deeper insight use tools like PitchBook.
- Practice - Once set up with your own Business Intelligence radar, you’ll find it easy to stay informed. You can either just use the inbound news and alerts for your own information or you can then start to build on this toolkit to grow your network and social reach.
Of course the next step is turning research into Business Intelligence into Action - but by creating your own Radar you’ll be first to know about events and ideas that will affect your business. Rebel Futures offers a “Radar” programme, in which we help businesses and individuals to identify, track and manage the right Business Intelligence and research for their business. We see this as “Consulting Light’ in that we can help businesses build research and awareness into everything they do negating the need for lengthy and costly consultancy later.