Anticipatory Leadership: Uncovering and Solving Your Real Business Issue
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If you've read any of my previous articles, you'll know that I teach the Skip It Principle as part of my Anticipatory Leader System. On the surface, problem skipping seems to be a hands-off technique to resolving a problem that emerges in your company; nonetheless, it is really hands-on and requires innovative critical thinking.
The majority of issues that arise in our everyday company operations or in our industry as a whole aren't the fundamental issues we should be concerned about. Instead, they are only byproducts of a larger issue that is having an impact on our lives.
In many circumstances, ignoring the apparent difficulty exposes the aforementioned genuine problem, since perceived difficulties obscure our perception and seem insurmountable.
As a result, our operation becomes neutral, and in larger companies, it has become one of the most expensive wastes of time we've encountered. So, if you're new to issue skipping and haven't yet looked at my Anticipatory Leader System, I strongly urge you to do so, but in the meanwhile, let's look at two different scenarios where my Skip It Principle may be used.
A virtual repair course for small engines
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 wreaked havoc on all industry in some fashion. Many business experts in various areas are still attempting to piece together the fragments of what was and what will be long after the virus has passed.
Safer-at-home rules and worldwide lockdowns had a significant influence on the education sector. Virtual education became something that K-12 teachers and college professors alike were required to do, and many taught in disciplines so far away from anything digital that they had no idea how to convey it through Zoom.
Take, for example, a technical college's small engine maintenance course. This course is not just incredibly hands-on with anything other than a computer, but many of the teachers are adjuncts, or part-time college professors who also work full-time.
These sorts of teachers used to work during the day and then teach one night a week for a few hours, or twice a week for a shorter duration each meeting.
There's a pandemic, and the world is under lockdown. Colleges hurried to make their curriculum available remotely in order to retain students and faculty at home, and Zoom proved to be the best solution.
Because of the epidemic, the adjunct professor of small engine maintenance had to convert their whole class to a virtual environment. Is the coronavirus pandemic, however, the true issue?
Digitalizing the physical
While the pandemic is a concern for everyone, it is not the primary concern of this adjunct professor. The underlying challenge here is a part-time teacher with a full-time job finding a way to accomplish the impossible: teach something incredibly tactile through a digital medium, whether it's because of a pandemic or just because the school wants to go virtual for cost savings or enrollment concerns.
If the adjunct professor concentrated on the pandemic, they may still be stuck at home with no answer, fully dependent on when the virus is over and everything is "back to normal" and in-person. Many universities have recognized the Hard Trend future inevitability that many people enjoy and even flourish in virtual education as a result of the pandemic.
What that Hard Trend demonstrates is the fact that, no matter what, a virtual transition was on the way in some form. Prior to the epidemic, it very certainly has, particularly because institutions utilize tools like Canvas to evaluate and connect with students.
The only difference is that the delivery is now virtual, which is the true issue in this circumstance.
So, how did the adjunct professor of small engine maintenance handle this issue? They may have had to enlist the support of a coworker with video expertise to help them pre-film classes in their own garage, where their real teaching time is spent addressing questions rather than instructing.
Perhaps the adjunct additionally utilizes tools at their school to improve their knowledge of how to Zoom with kids when it's time to review something hands-on they've been working on at home.
Anticipatory leadership prevents disruption in the future
As noted in the example above, many aspects of college education have already shifted to virtual, including grading and the use of platforms like Canvas and Blackboard to support mass contact with students remotely. Long before the coronavirus epidemic, they even had tools like Canvas Studio, which made screen-recorded presentations simple.
This was an undeniable Hard Trend that could have been foreseen if I hadn't identified the Three Digital Accelerators that drive digital disruptions — processor power/computing power, bandwidth, and storage. More physical sectors will have digital qualities aimed to simplify activities as these digital traits increase.
This, in turn, will cause challenges for company leaders and staff; but, by using my Skip It Principle, those leaders and people will be able to better recognize their underlying issue and learn to be Anticipatory in finding solutions to future disruptions and problems.
In other words, if the adjunct professor had been aware of how virtual their teaching was becoming prior to COVID-19, they might have begun to incorporate more virtual lessons into their course, familiarizing themselves with even the most digital aspects of teaching something physical, and viewing the coronavirus pandemic as a mere stumbling block, similar to any other change in their teaching process.
Don't let solvable problems shut down your entire operation; learn to use the Skip It Principle today with my Anticipatory Leader System, and more importantly, discover how developing an Anticipatory mindset through identifying upcoming Hard Trends allows you to anticipate some of the most significant disruptions.
Thanks to Daniel Burrus at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.