“Prospection” is just a fancy word that means “looking ahead.” But it can make all the difference for the success or failure of your business. There are potential pitfalls to our thinking when we remain stuck in the past—but also when we try to look ahead.
It may surprise you to learn prospection drives a lot of human behavior, since many businesses do seem to get caught behind the curve. Those who are good at prospecting, however, have an intensity of focus that allows them to disregard naysayers and pursue their vision of the future with a level of clarity that looks almost supernatural. Picture the Wright brothers inventing the airplane despite little experience and few credentials.
But—you may object—what if I take a gamble on the future and find I miscalculated? Not to worry—you can still reap the benefits of experimentation in business without investing your life savings into the automation equivalent of the jetpack. Joe Hikel of Shelter Systems spent $10 million building his plant—but did it in such a way that he could innovate without disrupting legacy systems. He accomplished this by creating “greenfield” operations to perfect new technology on the side without disrupting mainstream production run on older technology.
If this sounds like a lot of time, energy, and money… well, it is. But the rewards of prospection are well worth the costs, and ten or fifteen years down the line, you may be grateful you pushed your shop towards progress—and with the power of Better Technology, found a path toward Better Building.