The highest compliment you can pay a leader these days is to say he or she has vision. Typically, that means they can see far enough into the future to identify and avoid pitfalls and uncover and exploit opportunities. There’s just one problem, in this time of discontinuous change, seeing straight ahead is only half the challenge. What’s also needed is “curvilinear vision” or the ability to see around corners.
Competitors never stand still, so it’s essential that job board owners and operators recognize and prepare for tomorrow’s as well as today’s challenges. Certainly, you can’t ignore what confronts you in the present, but neither can you wait to deal with the future until it arrives.
There are at least two reasons:
• First, ad hoc and hurried preparations are much less likely to be a successful defensive strategy. As challenges grow in complexity, it takes more time to understand what they are, identify their vulnerabilities and mount an attack which exploits them.
• Second, new competitors are launching at a much faster pace than ever before. It’s essential, therefore, to extend one’s surveillance as broadly as possible to make sure no potential threat is overlooked and, no less important, each threat is correctly prioritized.
That’s where old fashioned linear vision lets you down. In the past, the complete array of competitive threats was directly in front of you. Look out far enough and you could see everything that might put your job board at risk. In effect, leadership vision was a linear function.
Today, the competitive array includes emerging technologies as well as innovative applications of extant technologies – all of which are still under development but could mature quickly and become a real and present danger. They are not directly in front of you, but are hiding in plain sight … around the corner. And, that’s why you need both linear and curvilinear vision in order to be appropriately prepared.
The Sources of Curvilinear Vision
Formulating linear vision is a well-known and understood leadership function. It’s why job board owners and operators walk the exhibit hall at recruitment conferences. They’re scoping out the potential threats as defined by the new talent acquisition products and services coming on the market.
Consciously or otherwise, they are:
• assessing the new capabilities that are being demonstrated and the receptivity of customers to those value propositions;
• formulating a counter-attack that will protect their own business model.
Developing curvilinear vision happens in a different place and in a different way. It occurs when thought and business leaders challenge one-another in an open and respectful forum devoid of customers and the sales chatter they generate. Seeing around the corner is accomplished by engaging with – listening to, considering the views of and debating the opinions expressed by – your peers.
Yes, I know, not every job board owner and operator is a critical, outside-the-box thinker, but many are, and their insights can be the difference between getting blind-sided and getting ahead of the pack. They take the ideas and information articulated in countless blogs and pundit pronouncements and leaven it with real world experience and expertise. The result is a rare form of predictive analysis that is far from perfect, but does provide fertile soil with which to nurture your own vision for what’s around the corner.
Food for thought,
The Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle is brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.
Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 events include:
• April 22-23, 2017 Chicago: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center, with The Business Accelerator for insights on your customers’ spending trends, practices and needs.
• May 17-19, 2017 Barcelona: RecTech, The TAtech Industry Congress in the EU in partnership with the AIM Group.
• May 31-June 1, 2017 Minneapolis: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying, featuring two tracks: Programmatic Ad Buying Applications & Programmatic Ad Buying Technology.
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.