See It Coming, Because It Is

While having a meal with an older gentleman, we had a discussion about infant changing tables in men’s restrooms. If you are under forty-five, you don’t even notice them. It’s not odd. If you are a dad, you have likely used one. To this man, it might as well have been a flying car. “I never thought I’d see the day.” To his generation, marital and parenting dynamics were different. The burden fell on the wife. Today, that’s not the case. It made me wonder…

What do I see every day with the assumption that it’s static, that may one day soon be very, very different?

Why ask the question? Because seeing that change, before it happens is a huge advantage in every business.

Want an example? How about office administrative staff? I started my first job in 2004. We had somebody at the front door, who answered the phones and greeted guests. We had a full-time office manager. Our CEO/CFO had a full-time assistant who handled the two of them exclusively. We were a brand new company with five employees, beyond this administrative staff. What changed? There was some global financial unpleasantness that forced us all to staff and work more efficiently. Up until then, “that’s just how it was done.”

Any other ideas? What does everyone around you take for granted, that you clearly see changing? That might be your next business idea.