Like the rest of the Engineering Leadership Framework Constants, each of these that contribute to seeing over the horizon must be considered from a 360 degree perspective. Engineering these constants into the organization doesn’t start or stop at the top. From the boardroom to the shop floor, every level of the organization must commit to creating the space each leader requires to engage their marketplace, industry, or community. As our leaders engage they must then be empowered to challenge all of the conventional wisdom in the company and know that “we’ve always done it that way” is one of the most dangerous statements they can ever hear.
With the time and space to engage their industry and the broader market and imbued with the responsibility to challenge the status quo, leaders can then begin to anticipate the future with reasonable certainty. They can do this not through some fortune telling magic but because as William Gibson was famously quoted, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Exploiting this uneven distribution of new technology, disruptive cultural trends and business model innovation is what seeing over the horizon is all about.
Engineering leaders who protect the team from emerging threats while also guiding the organization to a more profitable and secure outcome must master the principles of Engage, Challenge and Anticipate as constants in their leadership approach and execution.