IDENTIFYING THE FUTURE
The important thing is to identify the
"future that has already happened."
Futurists always measure their batting
average by counting how many things they have predicted that have come true.
They never count how many important things come true that they did not predict.
Everything a forecaster predicts may come to pass. Yet, he may not have seen the
most meaningful of the emergent realities or, worse still, may not have paid
attention to them. There is no way to avoid this irrelevancy in forecasting, for
the important and distinctive are always the result of changes in values,
perception, and goals, that is, in things that one can divine but not forecast.
But the most important work of the
executive is to identify the changes that have already happened. The important
challenge in society, economics, politics, is to exploit the changes that have
already occurred and to use them as opportunities. The important thing is to
identify the "future that has already happened" and to develop a
methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes. A good deal of this
methodology is perceiving and analyzing these changes. A good deal of this
methodology is incorporated in the book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which
shows how one systematically looks to the changes in society, in demographics,
in meaning, in science and technology, as opportunities to make the future.
ACTION POINT: Identify the major trends
in your market that have already appeared. Write a page on their likely
longevity and impact on your life and organization.
MANAGING FOREIGN CURRENCY EXPOSURE
Foreign exchange risks make speculators
out of the most conservative managements.
Old and amply tested wisdom holds that
unless a company's business is primarily the trading of currencies or
commodities, the firm inevitably will lose, and heavily, if it speculates in
either. Yet foreign exchange risks make speculators out of the most conservative
Executives will have to learn to
protect their enterprises against several kinds of foreign exchanges risks:
losses on sales or purchases in foreign currencies, and loss of sales and market
standing in both foreign and domestic markets. These risks cannot be eliminated.
But they can be minimized or at least contained. Above all, they can be
converted into a known, predictable, and controlled cost of doing business not
too different from any other insurance premium by the use of hedging and
options. 'Internationalizing' the company's finances is also the best-perhaps
the only-way in which a purely domestic firm can protect itself to some degree
against foreign competition based on currency rates.
ACTION POINT: Protect your business
against foreign-exchange risk by hedging your exposure.
Advertising isn't a science. It's
persuasion. And persuasion is an art.
BILL BERNBACH, American advertising expert and
co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising. Attrib.
Good advice is beyond price.
Ambition is a hard task-master.
Perhaps the biggest responsibility of
any corporation is to own up when it makes a mistake.
LEE IACOCCA, American automotive industry
leader, former CEO of Chrysler Motors, and director of several other auto
manufacturing companies, and author.
The more things change, the more they
remain the same.
ALPHONSE KARR, French journalist and author.
Man is still the most extraordinary
computer of all.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, American statesman, and 35th
President of the United States of America.
Manners require time, as nothing is
more vulgar than haste.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, American philosopher, poet
Creative minds have always been known
to survive any kind of bad training.
ANNA FREUD, Austrain-born British psychoanalyst,
youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud and founder of Child Psychoanalysis.
Those who can't do it themselves teach
it, or become critics.
I try to create an environment in which
others make decisions. Success means not making them myself.
RICARDO SEMLER, Brazilian industrialist.
Failures are steps in the ladder of
JAMES ALLEN, American theologian and author.
I have nothing to declare except my
OSCAR WILDE, Irish playwright, poet, author and
Plain dealing is praised more than
Every setback is the starting point for
A wise man will make more opportunities
than he finds.
FRANCIS BACON, British statesman, philosopher
After climbing a great hill, one only
finds that there are many more hills to climb. I dare not linger, for my long
walk is not yet ended.
NELSON MANDELA, South African leader.
Progress is man's ability to complicate
THOR HEYERDAHL, Norwegian ethnologist,
adventurer and author.
The buyer needs a hundred eyes, the
seller not one.