• Jim Canfield

Top Tools to Anticipate and Create the Future



Disruption and change are everywhere in business. There is no way to predict the future fully, but fortunately, there are ways to prepare for it.


Plan to Succeed

Integrate these tools into your company to help you anticipate and create a future with success.

  • What’s Next? exercise—Two of the most powerful words in any language that spark imagination and creativity are “What if?” They allow you as a business leader to anticipate and address strategic changes that may threaten your business or offer incredible new opportunities. Try modeling different strategic scenarios, and then ask your team, “What if?”

  • One-Page Action Plan—Assemble everyone who can make a goal happen and identify the action steps to achieve the goal. On a flip chart or dry-erase board, write who will achieve each step, the date the step will be completed, and who will hold the person accountable. Every quarter, gather the team together to review progress and set new action steps.

  • Four key business plans—Create these plans: (1) strategic plan, (2) business plan, (3) marketing plan, and (4) sales plan.

  • Three personal plans—Create these plans: (1) succession plan, (2) estate plan, and (3) exit plan.

  • “Awfulizing” sessions—Assemble your team to articulate worst-case scenarios in order to surface concerns and identify actions to minimize potential negative outcomes.

  • Brainstorming sessions—Bring the whole team together to work on problems or challenges. You never know which team member might offer the best solution.

  • Budget—Your company’s budget is a financial roadmap for the year. It’s even more valuable when it tracks your company’s current reality rather than your projections of what might happen.

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