Change is coming. And to create a culture of innovation we need to decode it. The decoding is the outcome of wholesale-distribution leaders developing a disposition for peering into the future. The intent is to commit the organization to detecting opportunities that will lead your customers to a better future, more often than not, before the customer asks for the solution.

The Innovative Distributor can use the framework, pictured here, to guide leadership in developing an internal discipline focused on the future. You will note the triangle is divided into two halves, each half containing two sections.

The bottom half of the triangle guides leadership to identify the systemic shifts — those macro, global, foundational and systemic shifts we have no control over. This is accomplished by looking first at the mega trends and big shifts occurring worldwide and then at the market dynamics directly affecting the markets you serve or are contemplating serving.

The top half of the triangle gets us closer to actual needs through a customer-centric strategy of identifying customers’ desired outcomes and, finally, their actual needs. You will note as we move from the bottom of the triangle to the top, we shift from identifying global and macro insights that could potentially affect our customers in the future to zeroing in on those specific needs customers are looking to have fulfilled today.


You Can Do This

Gather your team and use this framework to assess the degree to which you organization is systemically peering into the future. Determine what you need to do to better connect the dots between the mega trends, market dynamics and desired customer outcomes to create a propensity for innovation.

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