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How quickly does your organization react to challenges?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How quickly does your organization react to challenges?

  • We see challenges as they get close, then we act reasonably quickly: 46%
  • We don’t see challenges until they become crises, then we react in emergency mode: 27%
  • We see challenges coming way in the future and plan for them long in advance: 19%
  • We don’t see challenges until it’s too late, then we go into damage control and recovery mode: 8%

As leaders, you are responsible for pulling up from your day-to-day operations and looking beyond the horizon. Based on the poll results, many of you are more in reactive mode than proactive. The 20% of you who see challenges way into the future are shaping the environment to which your competitors must react. (Congratulations! I’ll bet you’re winning, too!) For the rest of you, build the discipline of looking into the future regularly, and get your teams out of reactionary mode.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”