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Sleep with one eye open as context often changes while you are tucked up in bed.

This is extreme advice but it makes a point. The context in which you operate is critical to the success you can achieve. Con-text or with text describes the important features and goings on in the world you are living in. The goals you are seeking to achieve and all the actions you are taking have a story around them. Understanding this story as context for what you are doing will help you succeed.

Describing context is a skill you can develop.

When you want to do something it is always worth pausing and asking what is going on in the environment in which you are going to take your action? Look around and seek out what is happening. Who are the key players? What are the features of the environment? What will happen in the future and what are the trends? Just asking these questions and reflecting on them will give you more insight for what you want to do and may even change your tactics.

Deeper reflection on context comes when you seek out the views of others.

Ask the same questions of them that you asked above. Listen generously to their answers and feed it in to the picture you are building up. Be on the lookout for those around you who are powerful at presenting context. They will be people who have an ability to paint a picture of what is going to happen in the world well in advance of everyone else.Management Insights – Context is Key  The builders of Google, Microsoft and Apple are all great examples of people who defined a very clear context for what would happen in the world and then took action within that context.

Growth is almost unstoppable and unlimited when you get the context this right. The growth will continue for as long as you remain on top of the context. But remember the advice to sleep with one eye open as context changes quietly and operates just as powerfully the other way.

The owners of Kodak and other film manufacturers declined rapidly as the context of their world changed with the emergence of digital imaging.

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