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Anticipate. Engage. Disrupt.

By Joey Havens

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My wife, CeCe, and I just finished a home defense course which, like CPR, is simply great training and awareness. I started the course at the request of CeCe so I was a little skeptical of the overall value of the course. In the first afternoon, we learned the importance of three keywords to the foundation of good home and self-defense. Aware, was the first stage. As we walk to our car or answer the front door, we should be head up and alert to any possible dangers rather than head down, reading our last text message. Then, if you identify danger or a situation that could be dangerous, you immediately move into escape mode and look for the easiest ways to put distance or cover between you and the danger. Then if you are unable to avoid the danger, you confront it and defend yourself. Even yelling in a very loud voice that you see them or stop it can have a significant effect on the situation. 

Hopefully, we are never in a situation where we must defend ourselves but I do know we are more confident, aware and prepared now. As I listened and learned about these three keywords—Aware, Escape and Defend—I couldn’t help but realize they are very similar to three words that we need today to be future ready—Anticipate, Engage and Disrupt. 

Being future ready, which has been defined as aware, predictive and adaptive by Tom Hood, the CEO of the Maryland Associate of CPAs, starts with being anticipatory. When we are faced with transformation, change that is exponential and disruption that threatens our business models, being anticipatory is part of survival. Of course, as they say, survival is an option. Just as we walk with our head up, eyes focused on our surroundings to avoid dangers, we can use our personal “antennas” to anticipate some of the future trends that challenge our business models and also generate new opportunities. 

When we anticipate, we have an advantage to skip or minimize challenges while finding new opportunities amidst the transformation. Of course simply anticipating will not get us to where we want to be. We must engage around these trends to take advantage of them. It is evident to me in working on this level of transformation and change that engagement requires a mindset that seeks new information and challenges our legacy thinking and beliefs. This new mindset understands that we are facing huge disruption and transformation and it will affect us even if we ignore it. This mindset and foundation belief becomes our WHY. Otherwise, it is very unlikely that we will engage in a significant way that guarantees our survival and even leads to us thriving during this rapid change. 

When we do these two things—Anticipate and Engage—we are provided the opportunity to Disrupt. Rather than shrinking back in the corner to see what happens, we can be the disrupter who thrives as the result of the transformation. 

As CeCe and I have started walking to our car and around our home with an intentional awareness, we are more likely to avoid and have the ability to escape any imminent danger.  Today, we can anticipate the change, the disruption and intentionally develop a mindset that allows us to engage and disrupt. Is it easy? No, but neither is waiting until our business model is defunct. The disruption is out in front of us, let’s anticipate and engage it together.