Empowering Anticipatory Management

Anticipatory management is a skill necessary for all organizational leaders to consider developing for the continuous success of the organization they lead. Unfortunately, too often the personality traits that have a proclivity for the process of anticipatory management are not possessed by visionary leaders. The natural inclination is to delegate the responsibility of anticipatory management to a leader down the organizational chart. This can be a very dangerous move if it is not done properly.

Issues management is all about facilitating communication leadership throughout an organization (Douglass, 2008). By going through a process such as a STEEP analysis, leaders are able to identify the issues that are most likely to impact the health and well-being of an organization (Juech, 2006). In a nutshell, the role of the leader overseeing anticipatory management is to identify issues and communicate the need to address those issues throughout the organization. These leaders help organizations detect and respond appropriately to emerging trends in the surrounding environment (Dougall, 2008).

The issue that anticipatory management leaders run into is a lack of authority and influence to communicate the coming dangers and implement change. Unfortunately, such levels of influence and decision making are held within the role of senior leader or an equivalent position within the organization. Unless an anticipatory leader is able to convince a senior leader of the importance of anticipatory actions, their efforts become fruitless.

For senior level leaders who are interested in gaining the competitive advantage of anticipatory leadership, there are two things they need to do. First, stay engaged in the process enough to be a herald for the necessary changes that others will respond to. The second is to empower the leader responsible for anticipatory management is empowered at a level they can influence change throughout the organization.


Dougall, E. (2008, December 12). Issues Management. Retrieved July 29, 2017, from http://www.instituteforpr.org/issues-management/

Juech, C. (2006). Horizon Scanning to Improve Social Impact (Forum for the Future) (pp. 1–18). The Rockefeller Foundation.




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