Have you heard of the N11?

I am sure you have heard of BRIC countries. (Brazil, Russia, India and China) but it seems that forward thinkers are already talking about N11 – or the Next Eleven (known by the numeronym N-11) are the eleven countries – Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria,  Pakistan,  Philippines,  Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam. These countries were identified as possible next big things – originally by Goldman Sachs.

That may or may not be true. Simple, straight-line extrapolation and a few basic assumptions later and you have a prediction. And this selection is as good as or maybe better than another. I am actively engaged with the future (possibly more than most given my job) but there is a major risk that comes with thinking about the future.

If you don’t take care of the present, then the future won’t matter because you will never get there.

Strategy is not about navel-gazing and forever hopping onto the next big thing. Strategy without execution is a pipe dream and execution happens in the now. Business success means you have to understand and embrace the future, but not at the expense of the present.

Human nature (and consequently company politics) will be biased towards working toward the results that are just outside immediate, short-term results. Shirking responsibilities, and taking

HockeyStick Future.PNG

On the other hand, the short-termism like the excessive focus on quarterly bonuses prevalent in American companies is seen by many as a cause for concern, and they would be right if the assertions are true.

Which means that balance is the critical factor in business success; have one eye on the future and a hand on the tiller of the present - that is how you plough a straight line.