The role of curiosity and foresight in self-disruption

Are you a curious type? We often observe this trait in young children as they explore the world around them. These are the kids relentlessly firing questions at their parents and teachers – “Why is it that way?”, “When was that invented?”, “How did they build the Great Wall of China?” Although it can be exhausting to field these endless questions, teachers understand that developing curiosity is critical to developing a lifelong love of learning.

Likewise, organisations are fast realising that curiosity is a vital skill-set for leaders in the future. This makes sense because curious people have minds that are observant of new ideas and are open to new possibilities. Curiosity is a natural precursor to innovation.

What is a self-disruptive leader?

Curiosity is a key trait of an increasingly important breed of leaders known as “Self-disruptive leaders”.  The term self-disruptive leader was first coined by Korn Ferry Institute (KFI) to describe the kind of leader that is required for tomorrow’s disruptive business environment.  This type of leader not only embraces the concepts of agile, digital, and inclusion – but also the “foresight” of anticipating societal needs in the future.  Curiosity plays a huge role in this.  A self-disruptive leader doesn’t just respond – they get in front and break things before their competition does. 

Moving from reactive to proactive

With self-disruption, the emphasis is on proactivity.  Becoming proactive relies on the ability to develop excellent foresight and anticipate future needs.  Our top three recommendations to improve your foresight are:

  1. Accelerate information flows into and across the organisation – Increase your exposure to the external environment and trends. Improve your understanding of customers, competitors, technologies, investors, and regulators.
  2. Anticipate rather than wait for disruption – stay ahead of your competitors by constantly challenging and enhancing key aspects of your organisation’s value proposition and operating model.
  3. Partner internally and externally to build teams and seize the opportunities – connect people and resources to create the complementary capabilities that enable high performance.

How insights from experts can help develop foresight & enable self- disruption

Utilising expert network capability can help improve your ability to anticipate and to learn from others.  Organisations such as Accelerated give you access to the best global knowledge from hand-picked experts to boost confidence in your decision-making.  From decisions such as “should I enter this new market?” to “how have other leading organisations improved their operational efficiency?” – expert insights enhance your understanding of the external environment and how other organisations or industries have achieved success.

Foresight + Insight – A powerful combination

Self-disruptive leaders combine (and differentiate) foresight – scanning broadly for new options and ideas; with insight – diving deeply into a specific topic.  For example, the approach to understanding the full range of growth options available is an important but different activity to developing an understanding of a specific opportunity sufficient to drive a decision to invest, or not.  The need to combine foresight and insight to improve confidence around decision-making will be the topic for our next blog.

At Accelerated we love working with “curious types”.  After all foresight, insight and self-disruption all begin with one simple idea – curiosity.  #BeMoreCurious

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