An old nursery rhyme goes something like this: “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick.”
What wasn’t added was the very real probability that Jack got burned before the candle was extinguished.
There’s much made about nimbleness and agility in the current economy, about companies that chase the market in an effort to adapt (or, to cite an over-used term these days, they “pivot”). There is definitely some validity for undertaking such efforts. For instance, augmenting your offerings with 24/7 interactive technology is a smart move. For some, social media is another.
There’s much to be said, however, for companies that instead choose to shape the future rather than pursue it, for understanding that people in an increasingly busy and transient society wish to connect in ways that have meaning. These prescient thinkers understand that no matter how much things change (and perhaps just because they change), people still value relationships and stability and feeling that they are being taken care of. That people still wish to connect on a personal level in a real manner. For companies such as these, they not only prepare for the future but they determine how that future will be for themselves and their clients. They invest in making that future happen. They don’t pander to the fast lane where everyone is competing on time and cost. They create their future like a carefully built house so that the future can move in and settle in when it shows up on the doorstep.