Dr. Pero Mićić
How future-proof is your company or job? Millions of experts and books tell you what you need to do to become successful. But what exactly does a successful company look like? How can you tell that a company is more future-proof than others? The consultants and authors are surprisingly silent about this. In my latest book, I describe the eight characteristics of a future-proof company. I refer to such companies as a “Bright Future Business.” Here I give you a summary of the eight features.
Bright Future Business – Your business can become more future-proof
The times are challenging. No company or job is safe anymore. Many entrepreneurs, especially in the SME sector, are looking to the future with concern. They need to future-proof their business now. Not sometime in the distant future, but as quickly as possible. So that they firstly protect what they have achieved and secondly ensure that their company has a good future ahead of it.
If your team is discouraged, if confidence is lacking, it is high time for a motivating and credible mission and vision. But almost every entrepreneur finds it difficult to develop a new vision. Because this is an extremely complex task that many fail at. Or it just comes out with a vision that doesn’t really excite or convince anyone.
What if you could use a simple template built on the successes of thousands of businesses? We have identified the eight characteristics of a future-proof company from over thirty years of experience with thousands of companies. Of course, a company is never completely secure. Future-proofing is a relative measure. Your company can become more future-proof than before and it can become more future-proof than other companies.
What does a Bright Future Business look like?
There are some approaches to measuring the future viability of companies primarily by their numbers. For example, by how volatile or stable their sales and earnings are, i.e. how much these figures fluctuate over the last few years. This is definitely a good benchmark. However, actual figures are measured here, i.e. figures from the past. In order to be able to really assess future security, we willy-nilly have to look beyond the actual figures and see the company in the market of the future, as difficult as that is.
The result of our empirical analysis is: There are exactly eight characteristics, eight features, by which you can recognize a future-proof company. You can use these eight characteristics of future-proof businesses as a master plan to develop your vision of your business and make it a future-proof Bright Future Business. Check whether and to what extent your company meets the eight characteristic.
Property 1 of a Bright Future Business: They sustainably improve the quality of life of many people.
Only a company that creates a better future, a Bright Future, can itself become a Bright Future Business. In the recent crises, we have seen how important it is for companies to be recognizably useful to society. Just as the Nobel Prize winner Yunus helps the world’s poorest people to set up their own businesses with microcredits. Planted from Switzerland solves several human problems at once with plant-based meat: climate change, nutrition, health and animal welfare. Climeworx’s mission is to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. Such companies are supported by their customers, employees and the public. It also offers employees a greater sense of purpose as they help shape a better future. To what extent does your company sustainably improve the quality of life for many people?
Trait 2 of a Bright Future Business: you work on great realizable future opportunities.
Your company needs great opportunities on the horizon, firstly to remain successful in the future, and secondly to offer employees exciting fascinating prospects. Our client Marcapo is building a fully automated artificially intelligent platform for local marketing. And thus strengthens the local economy against the overpowering Internet competitors. Synchron and Neuralink are working to overcome the negative consequences of neuronal diseases with brain chips. Tesla first wants to sell as many cars as Volkswagen and Toyota combined, then operate a fleet of robot cabs because individual cars are not the long-term future. Then Tesla wants to help make the Earth’s energy infrastructure renewable through massive expansion of large-scale stationary batteries. Now that’s ambition, isn’t it? And finally, Tesla wants to bring the ultimate product to market. Humanoid robots that eliminate the need for heavy and dangerous physical labor. Who are the most popular employers, many of whom receive more applications than they can hire without effort? Who are the companies that investors are fighting over being allowed to invest in? It is the companies that have stepped up to create something great together. To what extent is your company working on large realizable future opportunities?
Feature 3 of a Bright Future Business: Many customers like to buy, buy a lot and buy at profitable prices.
It is obvious: The higher your attraction to customers is today already and also in the future, the more future-proof your company is. At the Superbowl in the USA in early 2022, several car manufacturers such as General Motors and BMW have placed enormously expensive commercials. BMW even hired Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who sold the most electric cars the next day? Tesla. Even though they didn’t advertise at all. Although they have never spent a single dollar on traditional advertising. You have to realize that. Competitors run ads that boost Tesla’s sales. Who earns around 75% of all profits from smartphones? A single company. Apple. Our client Town & Country has built up a sophisticated system of guarantees for home builders and thus has an enormous appeal to financially weak customers who can nevertheless build their own home with a clear conscience.
Characteristic 4 of a Bright Future Business: Excellent employees come, stay and engage gladly.
When your existing employees, as well as potential employees, trust your company to have a bright future, they apply more, stay longer, and work more motivated and effectively. SpaceX is the most popular employer for engineers in the USA. You can choose the absolute best. Why? Because they are working on a historic and world-changing mission: To make humanity multiplanetary. Our client Johannes Winklhofer with iwis has over 3,000 employees and offers them a picture of the future for the next hundred years. In this way, he shows that even in a supposedly traditional business field like chains, great ambitions can be realized. No matter what business you are in, every entrepreneur can draw a fascinating, credible and therefore attractive future of their company and become a magnet for the best employees. You cannot lead without a compelling picture of the future. How strong is your attraction to the most excellent employees?
Feature 5 of a Bright Future Business: Your productivity is at the top of the industry.
Productivity is a decisive factor for low costs and thus for your earning power. But small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are falling further and further behind the large companies in terms of productivity. Our client Drees & Sommer, a leading construction project management company, not only plans everything digitally, but also uses AI to quickly and frequently check the actual state of the construction site, which drastically increases productivity. All innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics are primarily productivity boosters. New forms of work can also dramatically increase productivity. Agility is one of the ways. But truly agile working needs a shared vision of the future. Otherwise, it leads to chaos and then even less productivity. You need a culture of productivity and an organization for productivity. Only then can future technologies create a huge boost in productivity. Is your productivity at the top of your industry?
Feature 6 of a Bright Future Business: Your competitors have a hard time copying you.
Our client Dr. Frank Schifferdecker-Hoch with FPZ has a system for muscle training and has developed with us the vision to give people 500,000 additional healthy years of life. He has won 200 licensees for his system. His business is practically impossible to copy. Our client Tomra has built up such a lead in solutions for the circular economy that their business model is almost impossible for competitors to crack. Build your business model so that it consists of intelligently arranged and mutually supportive elements. This makes it very complex for competitors and very difficult to replicate. How easy or how difficult is it to copy your business model?
Characteristic 7 of a Bright Future Business: You are safeguarded against technical-strategic disruptions.
Disruption happens when a mostly new competitor delivers the same effect to your customers, just faster, easier, more convenient or cheaper. Such dangers can be recognized and prevented at an early stage. Rügenwalder has evolved from its raw meat image to become the largest supplier of vegetarian meat alternatives. Our client Europa-Park, with whom we worked on virtual reality as both a threat and an opportunity about ten years ago, has multiplied itself through virtual reality and has thus actively used the greatest threat as an opportunity. Every entrepreneur wants more security. And this is how you can reach them. How safe is your business from disruption?
Feature 8 of a Bright Future Business: Your business is a joy for shareholders.
The joy, of course, comes from a high yield, because you provide great benefits, and from a low debt. And also by a good feeling of future security. And simply also pride in the company. This characteristic also includes that the operation of your business does not require excessive use of the entrepreneur’s life time and health and does not break you. When you hand over or sell your business to a successor, he or she should really enjoy it. And not just a lot of work. How much of a joy is your company for shareholders?
Take advantage of the eight characteristics of future-proof companies
You know: I consider it your most important and only non-delegable task as a manager to develop your vision of the future with your team and to make it effective in day-to-day business.
Use the eight characteristics of future-proof companies, any or all of them, to develop your mission and vision, your image of the future of your company. Formulate the characteristics specific to your business. So you can lead your team with success, security and joy into a good future.
With our programs, you can turn your business into a Bright Future Business with sound methodology and countless case studies.
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Have a bright future!