RSC Level 1 Module 7: Sensing The Future
Step 1) Overview: Change is universal: your customers are changing, your competitors are changing, technology is a moving target and regulations evolve over time. As a manager and a leader you make decisions to meet the future - long lead-time decisions selecting the customers you will serve, the value propositions you will build, the process inputs you will seek and the new processes you will create.
Sensing the future, understanding how change works and making smart decisions to safeguard the future of your business are leadership responsibilities. This module presents you with systematic tools to analyze change and improve your ability to make the right strategic choices as well as craft appropriate responses. We recognize that we cannot be 100% accurate about the future but we can significantly increase the likelihood of making choices that assure us vital flexibility no matter what the future holds.In the world of work almost everyone experiences extreme time pressure – there simply are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things on your list of priorities. Clearly your skills in time management are a very important determinant of your success as a manager. First you need a general understanding of what works and what does not when you try to become more productive using time management. Next you have to deal with the inescapable 24/7/365 nature of email – you simply cannot escape it; you must learn how to manage it.
Step 2) Action Learning: Please watch the following two videos.
The following video is a 12-minute introduction to the tools you need to analyze change in your business. Learn how to thinks about your business in terms of Core Activities, the things you have to do and Core Assets the things you have to own in order to serve your customer. Remember your customer maybe an internal customer or an external customer. Change can be classified into 4 distinct categories based on whether your Core Activities and Core Assets are threatened or not. Each category of change requires a specific strategic response and smart managers are skilled at evaluating change and taking the appropriate steps to maintain and enhance competitiveness. Evaluating whether your business will be threatened in the future requires you to evaluate trends and identify trigger events - the subject of Video B.
The following Video is a 6-minute segment that defines a value chain, describes a trigger event and gives you multiple examples of the use of value chain exploration to identify trigger events. If you are a business leader who is trying to determine whether your core activities or core assets will be threatened in the future, the ability to explore value chains, identify potential trigger events and evaluate their threat potential is an invaluable tool for doing the due diligence required to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of your business.
Step 3) Points to Ponder:
Identify your core activities – the behaviors, processes and systems that your business must have in order to deliver value to the customer. If you do not operate at the business level, if you do not interact with external suppliers or external customers, focus your attention on the value-added activities that you and your team or department are responsible for and focus on the
1) internal customer that you serve: identify the core activities you must have – the processes, systems and behaviors required to serve your internal customer.
2) Identify your core assets – the tangible and intangible things your business must own in order to deliver value to the customer.If you do not operate at the business level, if you do not interact with external suppliers or external customers, focus your attention on the value-added activities that you and your team or department are responsible for and focus on the internal customer that you serve: identify the core assets – tangible and intangible - that you must have in order to serve your internal customer.
3) Activities and assets are threatened with obsolescence if your customer – internal or external – can obtain the value the customer seeks from you without using your activities and assets. Are your core activities and core assets threatened right now?
4) Draw your value chain.Investigate your value chain for trigger events.This may require conversations with people inside or outside your company who work in upstream or downstream stages of the value added chain.Based on your exploration of potential trigger events, are your core activities and core assets likely to be threatened in the future?
Step 4) Interactive Discussion:
After viewing Videos A & B and exploring the Points to Ponder check your calendar for the Interactive Discussion scheduled for this Module. Go to the session prepared to discuss the lessons learned with others in your Rising Star cohort. If you have any questions or need more information please send a message to
Step 5) Next Level:
(Optional) Read the Reference: “The Industries of the Future” by Alec Ross, -“The Industries of the Future” by Alec Ross 320 pages, Simon & Schuster (February 2, 2016) ISBN-13: 978-1476753652.Simon & Schuster (February 2, 2016) ISBN-13: 978-1476753652.