What will drive success in 2017? The business landscape continues to evolve with fresh approaches, ideas and innovations taking shape. Here are some leading examples of what to watch in the year ahead, based on input from the Results Canada network including top thought leaders.

1. Action mindset

John Spence led the charge on the latest thinking with his Awesomely Simple approach, revealing six key strategies that create a foundation for achieving business excellence: Vivid Vision, Best People, Robust Communication, A Sense of Urgency, Disciplined Execution and Extreme Customer Focus.

The common tie among all six is the adoption of a strong action-oriented mindset, driving the process of continual improvement and advancement that is essential for any business to maximize its potential. Watch for the focus on this theme to take deeper hold in 2017.

2. Thought leadership

This newer trend in business strategy continues to draw increasing interest from business leaders and companies based on the concept of engaging with ideas and information as a means to position themselves as leaders in their spaces.

A key step to moving in this direction is to take greater control of the original content that is built up around both the personal and company brands associated with the business, which allows for tying thought leadership activity directly to brand enhancement and strategic progress.

3. Creating ‘Talent Hotbeds’

A fresh focus on talent is taking hold as the foundation for new models of high performance. A leading example was defined by Daniel Coyle in “The Talent Code” – which examined talent hotbeds around the world and identified key elements inherent to each that fuel a high performance environment: deep practice, ignition and master coaching. Learn how to turn your organization into a talent hotbed.  

4. Strategy to execution

Running parallel to the urgency and action-oriented philosophy of Spence and others is a continued shift in emphasis from strategy to execution – to the point where the two become one as “Strategic Execution.”  This trend speaks to the reality that even the best strategy is toothless without timely and effective execution – which is often the main barrier to a company fulfilling its potential. For example, Tom Peters writes that “execution is the missing 99% of business success”

To avoid this pitfall, there are a number of tactics that must take place to drive the execution of any business strategy. Learn key tips on how to take strategy to execution.  

5. Leading with authenticity

“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership” touts the Harvard Business Review in a recent article. Particularly during turbulent or uncertain times, this has never been more important to instill the trust factor inherent to the success of all business relationships.

Bill George, who pioneered the idea of authentic leadership says keys for leaders include understanding their purpose, practicing solid values, leading with heart, establishing connected relationships and demonstrating self-discipline. These fundamentals are now back in vogue and will continue to be a major focus of leadership practice in 2017.

6. New era of partnerships

In today’s demanding and fast-shifting environment, the power of partnerships has become critical to keep plans on track and on target. Not just for advancing big picture initiatives but, particularly for SMB enterprises, helping with day-to-day, week-to-week strategic execution to reduce over-reliance on the owner / founder / CEO. Ready to put your business on autopilot?  

Rapid fire: Four more trends and ideas

7. Happiness as a fast track to success.

8. ‘Two hats’ of successful leadership.

9. Improving brand value through experience.

10. Unlocking the secrets of sustainable performance..