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Don’t Wait for Disruption, Start Innovating Now

By Joey Havens

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You may have read my blog, Why Do We Ignore Good Advice?, where I shared about my mom’s wisdom and how it usually turned out that she, in fact, did know best. 

Growing up, my mom thought it was best if my brother, Mike, and I spent most of our day outside. We had to be creative on what we did for entertainment, which led to lots of interesting days. We had two running buddies in the neighborhood, Davey and Ernie. We became infatuated with the game of golf and decided to build a small course in our backyard. Between the four of us we had a putter, pitching wedge and a 6-iron.

Initially, we made one putting green with a short par-3 and par-4. Then, Davey got a 3-wood from his brother’s old stuff. We were so excited; we went up on the hill and built a third tee box. Now, we had a par-5 too and golf became an every afternoon game.

On this particular afternoon, Mom came out to let us know that she was going to run down to the grocery store and she would be back in about 30 minutes.  We were in the middle of a heated golf match so she said we could continue playing but only play the two short holes until she got back. But, as soon as she was out of the driveway, Davey, Mike, and Ernie ran up the hill to play our par-5. We only had a few golf balls and the field was pretty grown up, so one of us (me) would climb up in the big mimosa tree in our yard and watch the golf balls as each person teed off from the par-5.  If they didn’t clear the field, which was most of the time, we had to spot them to keep from losing too many.

Davey teed his ball up and let it rip – I lost sight of it in the sun and that’s the last thing I remember. I knew the ball was headed my direction, but it had never come that far so I just waited. Then, the full impact hit me right in the forehead. When I woke up on the ground, Mike was hovering over me, crying and saying, “Please get up or Mom is going to spank us.” Although dizzy, I got up and we put the clubs away and acted like nothing had happened. I seriously can’t remember if Mom saw the mark on my forehead or not. I do know we quit climbing up in the mimosa tree when people teed off. 

We have some hard trends coming our way that will have a big impact on our firms and our clients.  If we don’t prepare now, it will cause a lot of disruption just as it did in our golf game. It’s easy to ignore what the impact might be even when we know it’s headed in our direction.  It’s easy to assume that it will not go that far or really disrupt our business model. 

Instead, let’s start preparing now. We can already anticipate some potential risks and opportunities. 

Take it from me – ignoring these hard trends coming our way will leave us flat on our back, trying to get back up.