As strategic consultants, we’re often asked: What does it take to future-proof a business? Trade secret: Not all that much when you’re willing to put yourself a more forward-thinking mindset, and consistently look for ways to invest in acquiring and deploying tomorrow’s solutions today. In fact, learning to master innovation is simpler than you think, and change management is far less difficult, when you simply make a point to shift strategies in time with shifting business environments. So while strategic consultants might be of service, much of the work of future-proofing a business can be done by making some simple changes in behavior and mindset.

Topic: How to Make Your Business More Flexible and Agile

Scenario: Today’s businesses face an environment of constant change, growing uncertainty, and increasing need to turn on a dime – how they can enable themselves to be better equipped to pivot if necessary?

Insight: Organizations increasingly need to think like startups and be in a state of “permanent beta” – constant iteration, adaptation, and growth. They also need to capitalize on technology and online tools to better stay on top of changing market signals, and rapidly switch to new strategies and tactics if situations demand. By planning for the future now, and putting backup plans and resources in place that can help you address tomorrow’s challenges today, you can give yourself the flexibility you need to adapt.

Topic: What Business Activities Do I Need to Stop Doing?

Scenario: Now, more than ever, management teams have limited time and resources to play with – by cutting certain activities and demands out of your schedule, you can put your energy and effort to more productive use.

Insight: It’s in an executive’s nature to want to do and micromanage everything themselves: Learning to delegate repetitive tasks (data entry and analysis, content management, payroll, etc.) and offload responsibility for non-essential tasks (i.e. marketing, managing non-essential staff meetings, website production, etc.) is crucial to freeing up your time to focus on high-impact, bigger-picture needs. Understanding what your time is worth – and when the numbers say you should be outsourcing – can help you determine where to expend your energy. Likewise, a number of automated + high-tech tools can also help, as can saying no to many requests.