The Skill of Reading Weak Signals in Leadership Situations

Over the past few years there have been several excellent publications about the concept of “reading weak signals” in business.  One of my favorites was published about 3 years ago by McKinsey called “The Strength of Weak Signals” by Martin Harrysson, Estelle Métayer, and Hugo Sarrazin.  Published in The McKinsey Quarterly, this piece is similar to others and points out how critical it is for leaders have the Business Acumen skills needed to analyze market trends to anticipate changes and get in front of competitive threats.  The McKinsey article by way of example suggests that senior leaders should spend time looking at trends about their company in social media.  What are customers saying about us on Twitter?  Is it good or bad?  Are there patterns in complaints that we can fix?  What are customers saying about our competitors? Are there things competitors are doing and customers like that we should be doing? Once business leaders gather the information from Social Media they should digest it and map actions for change and evolution of the strategy and value proposition to their customers.

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