Last week I talked about ITR‘s prediction of a slowdown beginning early 2018 resulting in a cyclical recession by February of 2019. As with every recession, Brian Beaulieu of ITR recommends that CEOs use the slowdown as an opportunity to invest in their businesses.

Sound advice.

And, what better way to determine where to make these investments than to look outside our companies, and outside familiar places for opportunities.

So often, especially during challenging times, we tend to focus inward. We look at what we are doing effectively and what we aren’t. We look at what our teams are doing effectively and what they aren’t. We look at the current competition, who we know well. In short, we tend to focus on the SW part of the classic SWOT strategic planning exercise.

What if instead we focused on opportunities and threats? What if instead we looked outside?

  • to imagine who our future competitors might be
  • or watched our customers to see what their challenges are
  • or benchmarked others industries to see what we can learn

I wonder where “the big three” automakers would be today if they had looked outward instead of inward when they were the dominant players?

Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain

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