Are You Anticipatory or Reactionary in Your 401k Business?

Probable is not the same as definite

401k, retirement, trends, businessSee the change, be the change.

I recently attended the Kohler Thought Leadership Conference hosted by Sheridan Road and had the pleasure of seeing Daniel Burrus, author of The Anticipatory Organization (AO).

In a rapid-fire session both enlightening and entertaining, he shared his AO Model, which emphasizes the identification of trends and a proactive response, instead of reacting to what’s happening now.

Based on my completely unscientific method of observing the attendees during the session and follow-up conversations, I think it was the best presentation of the conference. Thought leaders love to think and talk about the future.

Burrus defined trends as either “hard” or “soft.”

A hard trend is one that is definitely happening, can be immediately observed and falls into one of three categories: technology, demographics, and/or regulatory. As advisors, we live these trends daily.

Soft trends are based on assumptions, but nonetheless may have credible data for support. An example is asset flow into passive funds. You may assume that passive will attract a majority of new assets, but it could change in five years. In other words, probable is not the same as definite.

Top advisory firms are AO models already; just chat with their CEOs. A firm belief in future trends guides their leadership decisions. Therefore, advisors interested in growing need to think about the future as a CEO, and treat their firms as businesses, not practices.

Wouldn’t it be great to hear from thought leaders and top CEOs about future trends? Just a few simple questions would be enough to start a conversation. What trends do you see? How does that impact advisors? How can advisors capitalize on the trend?

Are you a thought leader or CEO willing to share what you think?

Please send an email to [email protected] and let me know. We all need to focus on the future. After all, it’s where we’re going to spend the rest our lives.

Ross Marino, CFP, CPFA, CeFT, contributing editor to 401(k) Specialist, is the founder and CEO of 401(k) Rekon | Excel 401(k). He can be reached at [email protected]

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