December 6, 2017

Becoming an Anticipatory Organization – with Daniel Burrus

On this episode of The Innovation Engine we look at why becoming an anticipatory organization just may be the key to long-term business success. We’ll look at why companies like Sony, Dell, BlackBerry, and Blockbuster (all of which were led by talented executives that knew how to be agile and execute strategy) fell behind the competition; how to anticipate and pre-solve problems before your company has them; and how to use Hard Trend certainties to accelerate innovation and drive results.

Listen to the Episode

Joining us for this episode to talk about those topics and more is returning guest Daniel Burrus. Daniel recently published his new book, The Anticipatory Organization, in which he shows that the future is far more certain than we realize – and knowing where to find certainty in an uncertain world provides a big advantage for those who know how and where to look. Using the principles of this unique model of thinking, planning, innovating, and taking action, readers will learn how to pinpoint and act upon the enormous opportunities of tomorrow by identifying a number of factors that help predict future events, and planning accordingly.

Over the past thirty years, Daniel has established a worldwide reputation for his exceptional record of accurately predicting the future of technological change and its direct impact on the business world. He has delivered over 2800 keynote speeches worldwide, and he’s a strategic adviser to executives from Fortune 500 companies helping them to develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. Daniel is now the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Flash Foresight, as well as the international bestseller Technotrends.


Why do we need to be anticipatory?

  • In a world where change is speeding up at an exponential rate, reacting fast has less of a payoff every year. You have to find a way to get ahead.
  • Let’s face it: you’re either going to be the disruptor or the disrupted. Wouldn’t you like to have a choice?

Four Principles the Anticipatory Organization Model:

  1. Know What’s Next – Transform how you plan by separating Hard Trends (facts, or things that will happen) from Soft Trends (assumptions, or things that might happen). We can use both Hard Trends and Soft Trends again to actively shape the future, rather than react to it. “There’s no shortage of trends – the problem is which ones are going to happen.”
  2. Develop Opportunities – Transform how you innovate. There are two types of innovation you want to create opportunities for within your organization: Everyday innovation, which is empowering anyone and everyone in the organization to identify and solve problems before they happen; and exponential innovation, which involves leveraging hard trends to lower the risk of taking a big leap forward.
  3. Shape the Future – Transform your culture by elevating it to increasing relevancy based on the direction the future is going. “That’s where you learn how to truly collaborate instead of just cooperate, how to really communicate instead of just inform, how you learn how to fail fast in order to learn faster and share the lessons, and how to actually become the disrupter with low risk.”
  4. Accelerate Success – Transform your results; learn how to skip your biggest problems so that you can move forward faster. “We live in a technical world, but we also live in a human world and relationships are the key to the human world, and good relationships are based on trust.”

Historically, many organizations have taken a wait and see approach, and often they’ve succeeded. Why can’t organization continue to wait and see?

  • The pace of change was not as fast as it is today, and technology was not as transformational. We’re doing things today that would have been impossible to do just two years ago, and we’re going to be doing things two years from now that are impossible today.
  • “The old rule was the big ate the small; the new rule is the fast eat the slow. But once again, I can’t just move fast. I need direction.”


About The Innovation Engine

Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on Apple Podcasts. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Spotify to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.