What are your birds?

Birds are highly attuned to their environment. Without a cloud in the sky and no obvious signs, they have the ability to sense a distant storm (due to atmospheric changes in pressure). Worms can sense rising ground water before it reaches them. Sharks flee to deep water when they sense a hurricane approaching.

We (humans) don't have that sensibility. So small tribes of people living in and around animals use any change in their behaviour as a sign that something is about to happen.

When trouble looms in the distance for your business, and it's not clearly identifiable, what are your signs? What are your birds?

Some signs, like falling sales and market share, are blunt and probably a sign that you are in the storm right now (so aren't useful as an early warning system). However there are other signs. How the category is acting. Staff attrition. Ongoing customer panels. How your staff behave. Trend watching. How your channel is behaving.

The point I'm trying to make is... how well attuned are you to what's about to happen in your market, or are you just reacting to any storm you're in right now?

What are your birds?