As companies operating in a globalised world, Eulogia members are always keen to expand their views to ensure each company’s continued success. As part of our ongoing collective training, our most recent get-together on the picturesque island of Madeira explored future-proofing strategies, coaching us towards establishing individual goals before tracing a road map for achieving them.
As the world shifts and changes beneath our feet, the only way to ensure a company’s continued success is reflection followed by action. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be walking through the steps taken by Eulogia members on our most recent adventure.
What does future-proofing mean in business?
Firstly, before any coaching or planning took place, it was essential to determine what is meant by future-proofing in the world of business. Future-proofing is, in essence, strategic planning to ensure the long-term well-being of a company. This type of planning considers the economic shifts and technological advancements, determining ways in which the effects of these shocks and stresses can be minimised on a business.
Although future-proofing can (and should) be applied across all companies and sectors, the steps taken and methods employed by an individual organisation are sure to vary, depending on the future envisioned and nature of operations. As such, reaching an effective future-proofing strategy requires much reflection and some coaching to determine the aims sought by CEOs – for themselves and their businesses.
What holds managers back from future-proofing?
Although it may be easy to see the benefits of establishing and employing future-proofing strategies, we have seen so many companies that seemed as if they’d go the distance only to then fold when times got tough. Why don’t these companies have what it takes to ride out particular storms?
There are several reasons managers may not employ future-proofing strategies, the most common of which is a lack of time (or brain space). If a manager, CEO or whoever is in charge is busy putting out fires day after day, week after week and month after month, they’ll never have the necessary time to consider what’s coming down the line further ahead, much less plan for it. Other reasons for a lack of future-proofing include a lack of experience, difficulty predicting the future (which could well be related), a fear of the unknown and viewing strategic planning as a waste of time.
As for the latter, however, we often can’t provide for every curveball that comes our way, we have to admit that ensuring that our companies are on a solid footing, ready to take on anything, gives us a sense of security. How are we ensuring we’re doing just that?
The first step to future-proofing: Establishing Current Positioning
Like any planning, establishing current positioning is the best place to start when thinking about a company’s future. You may know where you want to go, but you won’t be able to trace the necessary steps until you begin to consider where you are currently.
So start by asking yourself:
Where are you now?
What is your vision?
Which paths can you take?
However, more importantly:
Which steps can you take now?
And a final, crucial question:
How will you measure progress?
These questions are the building blocks to getting you started towards establishing your future footing, allowing you to gain an understanding of where you are and how you can get to where you want to be. Measuring the progress taken is essential to tracing progress, reassuring you that you’re on the right path and allowing you to see data that can tell you if you stray from the results you initially sought.
As for the factors holding us back from future-proofing, putting out daily fires is a position many of us know well and can empathise with, and so if this is the case, what can be done to lighten that load and free up the space necessary to allow for some planning? The next section provides some suggestions.
As companies in a globalised world, we need to future-proof our businesses
Once its current positioning has been established, a company can begin to decide on the pathway that will get it to where it needs to be. Depending on where the company is, the first step may be providing for the circumstances necessary to allow for future-proofing planning to take place – more delegation, internal restructuring or even appointing a new CEO to take over a part of operations, freeing up company owners to look at the bigger picture. Other future-proofing strategies include:
Saving money where possible. The first step to a company staying the course is ensuring its financial stability. This means optimising outgoings and incomings to ensure a favourable balance is achieved. However, this step requires deep analysis, ensuring costs are only cut in areas that don’t affect company operationality or quality.
Collaborating with other companies. Forging mutually beneficial partnerships that meet the needs without having to increase internal resources or investments.
Increasing client retention. What are the company’s client retention rates? How could these be boosted? Improved quality? Customer service? A broader range of services? Could you run a poll among your current clients to find out?
Hiring forward-thinking employees. Proactive individuals ready to give their all to the company and provide creative outlooks that challenge current practices and ensure progress is made at every turn.
Becoming more sustainable. Customers are becoming increasingly sustainability-focused and looking to employ brands that share their ideals. This trend can be expected to increase over time, making it all the more important for companies to start moving towards sustainability…sooner rather than later.
Sales, mergers, employee buyouts and initial public offerings. For companies which are often run by one or two passionate individuals, one way to ensure continued, long-term operations is by broadening the parties involved in top company management. As such, creating the conditions that make companies more independent of their CEOs, thereby allowing for some or all of these steps, is a way to ensure the company can continue, no matter who is at its helm.
Eulogia members come together for Future-proofing Coaching in Madeira
Here, at Eulogia, we know that nothing is forever and, therefore, while we may see our companies ticking along nicely now, we’re always ready to implement steps to take on whatever the future may throw at us. Taking part in this training meant we were able to discuss strategies, brainstorm possibilities and trace pathways that make sense to each of us. In doing so, we shared knowledge and ideas to fine-tune each CEO’s planning, ensuring our companies become stronger and more valuable as time goes on.
Then, there was the fun part of the trip, where we left the boardroom and took in the best of Madeira. We connected with nature and each other to allow ourselves the time and space necessary to gain entirely new perspectives. The activities involved treks to the top of cloud-topped mountains, walks along winding roads lined with levadas, a jeep safari through the island’s diverse nature, some wine tasting – of course – and a traditional dinner in Funchal, accompanied, as always, with laughter and experience sharing, lighter chats and in-depth problem-solving.
Inpokulis: Eulogia’s Portuguese Representative
The host of our October 2022 gathering was Inpokulis, Eulogia’s ISO-certified Portuguese representative that, having operated in the market for over 20 years, was the perfect company to get us all thinking about the future. Specialising in marketing translation, dominating all things online, e-commerce and SEO, Inpokulis is positioned towards the future – a company whose practices are always shifting and evolving, taking on new techniques, tools and ideas to maximise productivity. In fact, Inpokulis shared how they harness the power of machine translation and a range of CAT tools for different purposes, teaming the latest technology with expert human editing to maximise workflow across projects big and small, making them a force to be reckoned with as they take on ever bigger clients.
Setting an example we all believe to be vital to future-proofing any translation company in the age of technology, Inpokulis led the way. However, as always, it was our strength in numbers, perspectives and opinions that made our latest gathering one for the books, supporting each other so that, together, we can grow stronger.