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We all know that businesses benefit from stability because it allows us to plan for the future. But there seems little point in pushing for what seems to be an unlikely development over the next few years. So, instead, I am going to begin concentrating on ensuring that my short and medium-term plans for our business are as flexible as they can be – to allow for the unexpected.

While we have all been worrying about Trump, Brexit, independence, the election and the strength of the pound, there have been several other disruptive elements that we all need to contend with: we’ve been told by several esteemed writers of management theory that we will all be replaced by robots, and our jobs replaced by artificial intelligence.

While this might seem far-fetched, I think that the pace of change and the way we work will continue to speed up over the next few years, and this will lead to a whole new kind of ‘disruption’.

Time of change

Who would have thought, for instance, that black cabs would have suffered the industry disruption that Uber has caused? Or that Amazon, which changed many people’s shopping habits into a virtual experience, is now looking at opening ‘bricks and mortar’ stores?

And instead of going out to get a takeaway, who would have thought that your dinner would come to you, delivered by a Deliveroo cyclist? And, it’s not all down to high-tech and artificial intelligence – come on, these are people on bikes!

So, what equivalent examples are there in your industry? Have you even spent any time thinking about it? And do you have a culture of looking to the horizon to see what’s already out there?

If not, maybe you should reinvest some of the time you save when writing shorter, more flexible business plans, into looking at what’s going to disrupt your industry next.

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About the author

Andy Minifie

Andy has been helping business owners succeed in his role as a Haines Watts Partner since 1986. He opened and ran the Tamworth office of Haines Watts in 1989. Andy has also worked for a Top 4 firm internationally in Hong Kong, China and Thailand. Today, as National Managing Partner, he has responsibility for the strategic direction, development and growth of the Haines Watts Group nationally and internationally.

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