“Exceptional business leaders do what no computer can do. They scan the external environment, and out of all the things that are going on in the world, they are able to identify the significant patterns and trends.”
Ultimately that is the job of the CEO and senior team. Too often companies are focused everywhere but nowhere. Companies that can see themselves five years out within the context of the economic and sociopolitical environment have the competitive edge. Reputations are built on those companies that anticipate the emerging weak signals. For example, how did former CEO Lou Gerstner anticipate the importance of business services? How did Lord John Browne identify global warming concerns? How did CEO Jeff Immelt see that green is green? How did CEO Jeff Bezos see the largest book store living on line?
CEOs have to demand news and information about growing trends and patterns, small and large. It has to be a daily job.