Predicting The Future

If you’re a non exec or Chair of a company your role obviously have fiducial duties - making sure the management are behaving themselves, maximising shareholder returns and thinking through their plans and strategies.

But I firmly believe that there is another key role for Board advisors to play. Looking to the future. The management is, quite rightly, in the here and now. They have a plan and they need to execute and achieve their numbers.

So who is looking at the big picture and thinking about the impact of bad things, good things, opportunities and threats ?

I have always thought of my own key competence as futurology, not entrepreneurship.

In that spirit I have prepared a mind map of the likely outcomes of the current crisis once the economic impact starts to take effect this summer.

I - and anyone looking at this - could probably write a dissertation at the very least on it. Obviously there are parts of some sectors that will be badly hit, eg car sales, whereas car repairs is the flip side of this coin. 

So, what use is it ? Well, I tend to draw mind maps to help myself think things through and also to act as a map for discussions with colleagues to see where they agree, disagree and where effort should be spent.

You can do SWOT analyses, but I like to see connections and I also like the idea of traffic lights, or the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the current crisis, this final profile is probably the best to use. It is clear that ‘dot com’ type businesses are, twenty years on, ironically, the winners, whereas traditional businesses will suffer and certain sectors will never, ever be the same again. 

I’d love to hear any feedback and alternative views on my very rudimentary and basic analysis.