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? Consultants and authors are surprisingly silent about that. In my latest book, so far it is only available in German, the English version will be published soon, I describe the eight characteristics of a future-proof company. I call such companies a “Bright Future Business.” Here, I will provide you with a summary of the eight characteristics.

Bright Future Business – Your business can become more future-proof

Times are challenging. No business or job is safe anymore. Many entrepreneurs, especially the small and medium-sized businesses, are looking to the future with anxiety. They need to future-proof their company now. Not sometime in the distant future, but as fast as possible. So that they firstly protect what they have achieved and secondly ensure that their company has a bright 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 image of the company’s future. That’s because it’s an extremely complex task that many fail at. Or all that comes out is 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 companies? From over thirty years of experience we’ve identified the eight characteristics of a future-proof company. Mind you, of course, a company is never completely safe. Future-proof is a relative measure. Your company can become more future-proof than before, and it can become more future-proof than other companies.

So, what exactly does a future-proof company look like?

There are some approaches to measuring the future-proofness of companies primarily by their numbers. For example, by how volatile or stable their sales and earnings are, in other words, how much these figures have fluctuated over the past few years. That is certainly a good indicator. However, actual numbers are measured today, i.e., they are numbers from the past. To be able to really assess future robustness, we will have to look beyond the current numbers and see the company in the market of the future, as difficult as that may be.

The result of our empirical analysis is: There are exactly eight features, eight characteristics, by which you can recognize a future-proof company. You can use these eight features of future-proof companies as a master plan to develop your vision of your company and make it a future-proof Bright Future Business. Check whether and to what extent your company meets the eight feature.

Feature 1 of a Bright Future Business: You sustainably improve the quality of life of many people.

Only a company that creates a better future, a Bright Future, through its actions 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 build 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. They also provide employees with a greater sense of purpose because they are helping to create a better future. To what extent does your company sustainably improve the quality of life for many people?

Feature 2 of a Bright Future Business: You are working on great and feasible future opportunities.

Your company needs big opportunities on the horizon, first to continue to be successful in the future, and second to offer employees exciting and 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 large 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 robotaxi fleet because individual cars are not the future in the long term. Then Tesla wants to transform the energy infrastructure of the earth to renewables 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 effortlessly receive more applications from excellent people than they can hire? Who are the companies that investors are fighting to be eligible to invest in? It is the companies that have stepped up to create something great together. To what extent is your company working on great feasible future opportunities?

Feature 3 of a Bright Future Business: Many customers like to buy a lot and at profitable prices.

It is obvious that the more attractive you are to customers today and in the future, the more future-proof your company will be. At the Superbowl in the U.S. in early 2022, several automakers such as General Motors and BMW ran enormously expensive commercials. BMW even hired Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who sold the most electric cars the next day? Tesla. Even though they didn’t run any ads at all. Even though they have never spent a single dollar on traditional advertising. Get this straight. Competitors run ads that increase Tesla’s sales. Who earns about 75% of all profits from smartphones? A single company. Apple. Our client Town & Country has built up an elaborate system of guarantees for home builders and thus has an enormous appeal to financially weak customers who can still build their own home with a clear conscience.

Feature 4 of a Bright Future Business: Excellent employees come, stay and happily perform well.

When your existing employees, as well as potential employees, believe your company has a bright future, more of them apply for jobs, stay longer, and work more motivated and effectively. SpaceX is the most popular employer for engineers in the US. They can pick the absolute best. Why? Because they are working on a historic and world-changing mission: To make humankind multiplanetary. Our client Johannes Winklhofer with iwis has over 3,000 employees and offers them a vision of the future for the next hundred years. In doing so, he shows that you can work on fascinating projects even in a supposedly traditional business field such as metal chains. 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 your 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 critical factor in keeping costs low, and therefore in your earning power. But medium-sized companies in particular are falling increasingly behind 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 productivity boosters first and foremost. New ways of working 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 provide their customers with 500,000 additional healthy years of life. He has acquired more than 200 licensees for his system. His business is virtually impossible to copy. Our client Tomra has built such a lead in circular economy solutions that their business model is almost impossible to crack for competitors. Build your business model so that it consists of intelligently arranged and mutually supporting elements. This makes it very complex and very difficult for competitors to replicate. How easy or how hard is it to copy your business model?

Feature 7 of a Bright Future Business: You are hedged against technological and strategic disruptions.

Disruptions happen when a mostly new competitor delivers the same emotional effect to your customers, just faster, easier, more convenient or just cheaper. Such threats can be recognized and prevented at an early stage. Rügenwalder from Germany has evolved from an image of producing products from animal meat to the largest manufacturer of vegetarian and vegan 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 achieve it. How safe is your business from disruption?

Feature 8 of a Bright Future Business: Your business is a joy for shareholders.

The joy comes naturally from a high return because you provide great value to customers. And from low debt. And also through a good feeling of safety for the future. And simply also a sense of pride in the company. This feature also includes that the operation of your business does not require an 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 it should really bring him or her joy. And not just a lot of work. How much is your company a joy for the shareholders?

Use the eight features of future-proof companies

As you know: I consider it your most important task as a leader, and the only one that you cannot delegate, to develop your vision of the future with your team and to make it effective in your day-to-day business. Use the eight features 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 features specifically for your business. This way you can lead your team with success, safety and joy into a bright future.

With our programs, you can turn your business into a Bright Future Business with sound methodology and countless case studies that you can learn from. Find out more in the description.

I wish you a bright future.

Have a bright future!