Major Election Year Opportunity

Daniel Burrus
January 29, 2020

Daniel Burrus

One of the World's Leading Technology Forecasters and Business Strategists
Major Election Year Opportunity

This isn't just the start of a new year; this is the beginning of a new decade. With that, amazing new opportunities will present themselves for you and your organization. There are many certainties we already know in this new decade. For example, 2020 is an election year in the U.S., so most companies will "wait and see" in terms of innovation due to the political uncertainties that come along with an election.

This strategy of playing it safe couldn't be any more wrong; you should not "wait and see" what 2020 has to offer because technology-driven exponential change and digital disruption will not stop! Instead, take advantage of others' "wait and see" strategy by identifying the indisputable Hard Trends that will occur regardless of the election outcome and anticipate whatever change is headed your way to transform it into great opportunity.

Disruption Doesn't "Wait and See"

Digital disruption will increase at an exponential rate, and Anticipatory Leaders know that this is a Hard Trend, or future certainty. Additionally, they know that contextually aware devices built around the Internet of Everything (IoE) will continue to grow as well. This is why these anticipatory individuals do not "wait and see" for election results; they know disruptions have no political agenda and care not for the election results.

Going Opposite

The first way to better become a positive disruptor is to go opposite. When everyone goes one way, Anticipatory Leaders go the other and take the road less traveled.

In the case of the election, after everyone first goes the way of "waiting and seeing," they will need to react quickly after the results. That is far more uncertain in the long run, especially when we have future certainties in our hands.

Anticipatory Leaders know that this year is much easier to grab competitive advantage while most are waiting until November to react, so they go opposite and, more importantly, double down on redefining and reinventing their products, services, and customer experiences before someone else does.

Realign Focus and Become Positive Disruptors

Another big reason so many organizations and individuals alike "wait and see" is due to lack of focus. I'm sure you can attest to the fact that we all get bombarded with distracting political TV ads throughout the year. These ads leave us divided and ultimately distracted from our strategic focus, in turn hurting our ability to communicate and collaborate with colleagues and allies.

I challenge you and your organization to disallow yourself from getting sucked into political attack ads emotionally if you wish to reap the rewards of taking positive action in this 2020 election year. In addition, do not just increase your focus, but increase your focus on being positive disruptors by improving something that needs improvement. Oftentimes during an election year, everyone is divided more than usual, so positive disruption can reunite many and help humankind move forward.

The Cost of "No" in 2020

Another crucial concept for those "waiting and seeing" during an election year to consider the cost of the "no." Saying "no" to the time and money needed for innovations has always been easier than saying "yes" because in the past, it cost nothing to turn good ideas down or to say "no" to expensive innovation.

Saying "yes" to innovation does take time and money. An employee at a manufacturing firm with an idea of how to implement augmented reality on the manufacturing floor will cost something to develop and implement, whereas saying "no" to it will quickly eliminate all costs and time spent.

A positive disruptor who says "yes" to a game-changing innovation that is based on a Hard Trend they know will happen anyway, regardless of who does it, will drive low-risk innovation and win. The important question to ask yourself and your organization is this: What's the cost of waiting this year or saying "no" when you know that positive disruptors are saying "yes?"

Starting Fresh in This New Year and New Decade

A new decade is quite uncertain in many ways; however, strategy based on certainty has low risk and high reward, so start by identifying Hard Trends and certainties you do know will happen. Trends by themselves do not have power until you attach them to an opportunity, so pay attention to those Hard Trends and related opportunities in order to see disruption before you get disrupted, and use those opportunities to become a positive disruptor.

Most importantly, and unique to this year, do not "wait and see!" Go opposite, keep focused on creating positive disruptions, and understand the cost of saying "no." If you continue to innovate and disrupt, you will utilize this transformative new year in a profound way and likely set your organization ahead much further than you ever thought it could be.


Eager for more insights? You can read more in my new book The Anticipatory Organization, now on Amazon.com. To continue learning how to become more anticipatory in your thinking by way of paying attention to the Hard Trends shaping your industry, check out my Anticipatory Leader Membership with access to Daniel Burrus live each month.
Daniel Burrus

Want Daniel Burrus for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
Collaboration in Times of Need
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
July 29, 2020
Ford Motor Company is known for gems such as the GT500, burly trucks like the F-250 Super Duty, and daily ...
A Battle of the Ages: Millennials and Baby Boomers
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
July 22, 2020
When one thinks of a battle, it is a display of physical prowess, such as a UFC fight or ...
Complacency Stunts Innovation
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
July 15, 2020
Complacency is often mistaken for stability, the feeling you've "made it" and now you can sit back and revel ...
Collaboration in Times of Need
Ford Motor Company is known for gems such as the GT500, burly trucks like the F-250 Super Duty, and daily drivers such as the Ford Escape with its storage capacity and car-like gas mileage. On a more technologically innovative front, Ford even recently moved into the fully electric vehicle market with the debut of its Mach-E SUV, a similar desig...
Read More
A Battle of the Ages: Millennials and Baby Boomers
When one thinks of a battle, it is a display of physical prowess, such as a UFC fight or a boxing match. However, in this case, this is a current battle that is far less physical and more personal, and it has more long-term issues than we realize. We refer to the constant battle between young and old: the millennials and the baby boomers. Endin...
Read More
Complacency Stunts Innovation
Complacency is often mistaken for stability, the feeling you've "made it" and now you can sit back and revel in what you've built. However, that ideology carries far more pitfalls than we realize. Complacency is even more detrimental in the environment we live in today, dominated by exponential digital disruption. It's essential to eliminate com...
Read More
Agility and Anticipation--A Vital Partnership
While exponential change is always moving, businesses and even whole industries traditionally move slower than they should, often finding themselves disrupted and working hard at being agile alone. During the Coronavirus pandemic, all industries were disrupted in one way or another, many having to close their doors for the time being and forfeit...
Read More
Collaborate With a Strategic Alliance to Find Success
Traditionally, the concept of success through collaboration in the business world has been focused on eliminating competition to find success in ways that benefit the industry the competitors share. However, during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, success through collaboration was redefined when two tech giants, Apple and Google, collaborated o...
Read More
Is Success A Big Limitation?
I once gave a commencement speech where I made a comment that took the parents and graduates completely by surprise. I said, "I don't want you to try to live a successful life; it will limit you, as success is only about you and the accolades on your wall. Instead, live a significant life. Significance is about what you do for everyone else....
Read More
Which Trends Can You Trust?
Mention the word "trend" in a group setting and you'll find that most will shrug it off, the reason being that the word "trend" has a negative connotation to it, causing trends to be considered untrustworthy. Having an avoidance relationship with trends of any kind based on this aura can be a significant mistake in your career. Some trends are s...
Read More
Is the "New Normal" We Face a Soft Trend?
There will always be certainties about the future that we simply cannot change. Some are rather obvious, such as the reality that spring will always follow winter, summer follows spring, and fall follows summer. There are other future certainties that have nothing to do with the seasons, and that we all can agree we look forward to. One examp...
Read More
Company-Wide Innovation Is an Anticipatory Imperative
If you were to ask anyone in your organization to outline their daily responsibilities, you'd likely get a list that includes position titles rather than responsibilities, like sales or information technology. But what about something more crucial to the overall goals of the organization, like innovation? It is likely that employees don't...
Read More
Learning to Manage Opportunity in the Unknown
We all manage something in our lives. Whether we manage other people, an entire organization, sales or even just ourselves, management is part of our everyday lives and includes careful planning, well-thought-out direction and a sense of control. What happens when we apply that definition of management to the concept of opportunity? What if we w...
Read More