Unlock your real business problem – and solve it – sooner using anticipatory leadership


If you’ve read any of my past blogs, you know that in my Anticipatory leader system, I teach a skill called the Skip It Principle. On the surface, something like problem skipping can seem like a hands-off approach to solving a problem that arises in your organization; However, it is actually an extremely hands-on experience and involves some creative critical thinking.

Most of the problems that arise in our day-to-day business operations or in our industry as a whole are not the real issues we need to focus on. Instead, they are just derivatives of a bigger problem that actually affects our realities. Skip the perceived problem, in many cases reveals the aforesaid real problem, because these perceived problems cloud our vision and often seem overwhelming.

In turn, this turns our operation into neutral and, in large organizations, becomes one of the most costly wasters of time that we know of. So if you’re new to problem skipping and haven’t checked out my anticipatory leader system yet, I implore you to do so, but in the meantime let’s explore two miscellaneous examples of where does my Skip It principle apply.

A virtual lesson on repairing small engines

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has shaken all industries in one way or another. Even long after this virus, many professionals in all fields are still trying to piece together the remnants of what was and what will be.

Education was one of the biggest industries affected by safer home orders and global lockdowns. Virtual education has become something that was just expected of K-12 teachers and college professors, and many teach in fields so far removed from digital they had no idea. How? ‘Or’ What to translate it via Zoom.

Take, for example, a small engine repair course at a technical college. Not only is this course extremely hands-on with everything but a computer, many of the instructors who teach this course are auxiliary: part-time college professors who also work full-time. In traditional times, these types of instructors would work for the day and then teach maybe one evening a week for a few hours, or twice a week for less time at each meeting.

Enter: the pandemic and global containment. Colleges rushed to make their program remote to keep students and staff at home, and Zoom was their best option. Suddenly the assistant professor of small engine repair had to tip his entire class into a virtual setting, thanks to the pandemic. But does the real problem with the coronavirus pandemic?

Make the physical digital

As the pandemic is a problem for everyone, in the case of this assistant professor, it is not their real problem. Whether it’s a pandemic or simply because the school wanted to go virtual to save money or enrollment issues, the real problem here’s a part-time instructor with a full-time job who finds a way to do the impossible: teach something extremely physical via digital medium.

If the adjunct professor sat down and focused on the pandemic, they could still be sitting at home with no solution, completely at the mercy of when the pandemic will be completely gone and everything will “be back to normal” and in person. What the pandemic has illustrated in many colleges is the Difficult trend future certainty that many people prefer and in fact prosper in virtual education.

What this lasting trend illustrates is a reality that no matter what, a shift to the virtual was happening in one form or another. This was likely already the case before the pandemic, especially because colleges are using platforms like Canvas to grade and communicate with students. The only difference here is that the delivery becomes virtual, the real problem in this situation.

So how did the assistant professor of small engine repair solve this problem? They may have had to turn to one of their experienced video colleagues to help them pre-film lessons in their own garage, where their actual teaching hours are instead spent answering questions. Perhaps the assistant is also using their school’s resources to better learn to zoom in with students when it comes time to review something practical they are working on at home.

Anticipatory leadership prevents your future disruption

As mentioned in the example above, there had already been a shift to virtual in many areas of college education, namely the way the grading was done and the fact that platforms like Cloth and Blackboard facilitated mass communication with distance students. These even boasted of features like Canvas Studio, where screen-recorded presentations were easy to do long before the coronavirus pandemic.

This was an indisputable hard trend, and could also be predicted from my identification of the three digital accelerators that are causing digital disruption – processing power / compute power, bandwidth and storage. As these digital attributes accelerate even faster, more physical industries will have digital features designed to streamline tasks.

This in turn will create problems for business leaders and employees; However, by using my Skip It principle, these leaders and employees will better identify their real problem and learn to anticipate to find solutions to future disruptions and the problems they cause.

In essence, if the assistant professor had been far-sighted about how their teaching was already going virtual before COVID-19, they might have started incorporating more virtual lessons into their course, familiarizing themselves with even the most digital aspects of the day. ‘teaching something physical and seeing the coronavirus pandemic as a mere hurdle that is no different than any other change in their teaching process.

Don’t let solved problems end your entire business; learn how to use the Skip It Principle today through my Anticipatory Leader System and, more importantly, find out how to develop a Spirit of anticipation by identifying the hard trends that will happen lets you predict some of the biggest disruptions in your path.

Originally posted here.




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