Part Two Introduction: Irresistible Force Management
An optimist is someone who thinks the future is uncertain.
To become an irresistible growth enterprise, it isn't enough to simply stop fighting irresistible forces. You must capture the benefit of those forces by being constantly aligned with them. To create the ideal alignment, the bad habits, or stalls, explored in Part One need not only to be eliminated, but also to be replaced with a new set of better habits. In this part we present an eight-step process for acquiring these habits. It is a process that should be continuously repeated. Each time you use the process, you will develop and reinforce these new habits for capturing momentum from irresistible forces, the source for achieving breakthrough gains.
The following steps can help you to identify what the irresistible forces are, track their direction and strength, locate the best ways to adapt to them, in some cases create new ones, and make continuous changes in your company's directions in order to become an irresistible growth enterprise:
Step One is to recognize how measurements can help your company identify and understand more about irresistible forces (Chapter 11).
Step Two is to use your own leading indicators to anticipate shifts in irresistible forces (Chapter 12).
Step Three is how to identify the future best practice for locating, anticipating, and adapting to changes in irresistible forces (Chapter 13).
Step Four is to find ways to extend your vision to identify best practices beyond anyone else in the future (Chapter 14).
Step Five is to identify the ideal best practices for the multidimensional management of irresistible forces (Chapter 15).
Step Six is to determine how to approach the ideal best practices for locating, anticipating, and adapting to your irresistible forces (Chapter 16).
Step Seven is to learn how to enhance your peoples' abilities to achieve the benefits of irresistible force management for your enterprise (Chapter 17).
Step Eight is to repeat steps one through seven for improved effectiveness in using the irresistible force management process (Chapter 18).
We believe that this irresistible force management process is the key competency that will distinguish the most successful enterprises in the twenty-first century because it will help you create the flexibility needed to achieve the most benefit from ever-more volatile irresistible forces.
This book's fundamental point is that no matter how successful you and your operation have been, you are performing well below your potential. If your company is typical, you're getting full benefit from irresistible forces (such as demographics, customer preferences, and business conditions) only a small percentage of the time. Most of the rest of the time you're struggling to fight off the negative effects of irresistible forces acting as head winds, rather than changing your orientation to use the forces as tailwinds in your favor. And it is rigidity that keeps you struggling, for inflexibility is the primary reason for the frequent, large gap between an enterprise's potential and achievement. Here are the most significant reasons why:
At best, rigidity keeps you firmly focused on your organization's goals while denying you the majority of the most effective tactics to achieve those goals. If your company isn't increasingly relying on irresistible forces to accomplish goals, you are going to fall geometrically behind companies that do because the power and variability of these irresistible forces are rapidly increasing. Rigidity keeps you from seeing and acting on your company's best opportunities. When you reach your goal by one of the longest routes possible, you'll have wasted lots of time and resources that could have been used to get there much sooner with less effort.
At worst, rigidity can put your existence into doubt, like an oak tree suddenly facing a hurricane. Companies that have done little to adapt to irresistible forces can quickly disappear from sight. Retailing provides this kind of example on a regular basis, as customer needs and preferences and supplier economics shift in ways that make an existing retailing business model obsolete. When was the last time you remember going into a Woolworth's or an S.S. Kresge store?
To have the most advantageous strategic position, you must act first to better align your enterprise with the most important shifting irresistible forces. This position allows your company to capture more benefits sooner, use fewer resources to get those benefits, and avoid costly problems. Each time you execute this superior adaptation, you'll create substantial advantages over the other organizations that either miss the shift in irresistible forces or that belatedly follow you in adapting to those shifts. Making irresistible force management a strategic platform for your enterprise will reward you with irresistible growth.