Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected
Teena Rose is a columnist, public speaker, and certified/published resume
<http://www.resumebycprw.com/> writer with Resume to Referral [http://www.resumebycprw.com].
She's authored several books, including "20-Minute Cover Letter Fixer <http://www.resumebycprw.com/cover-letter-fixer.htm>"
and "Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales <http://www.resumebycprw.com/resume_pharm_book.htm>."

How do successful business executives stay on top of the game in an ever-changing
global marketplace? By being prepared for the unexpected. When senior management
and executives are up-to-date on industry movement, they are better prepared
to know when to act and when to wait. Just as investors must understand
and learn when to act in the stock market, so too do executives need to
understand which industry changes necessitate action.

Successful corporate leaders are not necessarily those who are able to
motivate the troops to excel, but rather, those who are able to anticipate
and react to change. This executive understands the current business climate,
and has a thorough understanding of the management team's capabilities.
Signs may point in a clear direction for an industry to head, but is this
the best direction for a particular business? This is a fine line to walk,
and executives who are skilled in researching industry trends, keeping
up with all types of technologies, and are able to handle the unexpected
will be the ones who can lead a company into the next phase. 

1. Ensure Senior Management and Executives Keep Their Fingers on the Pulse
of Their Industry

While it seems like common sense, the simple act of keeping up on industry
trends is too often overlooked. Those in executive careers are overworked,
over-focused, and too busy developing the next big thing of their own.
But what is going on in the industry while your company is buried in its
own projects? The perceptive executive knows that it is essential to keep
a finger on the pulse of the industry. This includes current trends, projected
directions, and of course, what the competition is doing. 

Successful businesses are often those who develop a niche and do this best,
whether it is develop a product, provide a service, or a combination. However,
these companies also seem to know when it is appropriate to expand. What
about less successful companies? How often have start-ups gotten off to
a great start, only to fizzle out a few months later?

The difference is finding the balance between the core products or services
and the new options that show real--not simply hyped--potential. The only
way this can be determined with some degree of accuracy is to keep watch
over the industry on a regular basis, from observing historical trends
to watching which of the latest developments show potential. Many executives
get themselves and their companies into trouble by trying to do too much.
It is not possible to "hit" every trend that comes your way, no matter
how tempting or how big the financial payoff appears to be.

2. Don't Overlook the Short- and Long-term Benefits of Technology

Technology affects all aspects of your business, regardless of whether
or not you are in a technical business or not. Corporations of all size
rely on a wide range of technologies on a daily basis; a simple breakdown
in one area can hold up the rest of the company in very short order. Just
as the breakdown of a single machine on a manufacturing line can put a
halt to production, so too can a breakdown of the simplest technology create
costly difficulties.

Just as the corporate executive needs to have a solid grasp on the direction
of his or her industry, so too does this person need to have an understanding
of both short- and long-term benefits of technology. Knowing when to act
can save or cost the company millions of dollars.

Those with executive jobs need to understand the benefits of a technology
in order to make a wise decision on its use. Many current technologies
are enticing, promising quick results for a fraction of the cost. Nevertheless,
will these technologies be around for the next few years? In many ways,
there is no excuse for an executive not to know whether a new development
is worth the investment. Information on new technology is everywhere, in
many forms, such as online, in books, magazines, presentations, and word
of mouth, just to name a few.

3. Expect the Unexpected

Is it possible to expect the unexpected? Of course--anyone can say they're
ready for the unexpected. Having an idea what the unexpected will be is
quite another matter, which is why it' so important for executives and
senior management to conduct ongoing industry research and stay current
on technology. Effective leaders have a clear sense of where the company
is going and have a plan in place complete with contingencies. Expecting
the unexpected means planning for the unexpected.

Successful executives understand where the company is in its business cycle
and plan accordingly. An established company may be better equipped to
take risks, for example. If senior management is prepared for both success
and failure, with plans in place for all scenarios, the unexpected may
not come as such as surprise. In other words, forecast what's to come and
modify your operations, administration, sales and marketing, and customer
communications to accommodate it.

Encourage all executives and members of senior management to stay vigilant
on industry developments. Promote communication between all corporate departments
and compare notes. Use the combined information to make as accurate of
forecasts as possible.

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