The problem with how we think about the future is very often how we think about the future…
How strategically are we framing our idea of the future?
Are we considering how effectively we are designing our systems for an unknown and rapidly changing future?
Are we reflecting on the variety of ways our current mental models are diminished by past thinking and past practices and limit how effectively we move future?
Are we able to wrestle positively with the tension created by the accelerating pace, speed and turbulence of change?
How engaging and shared is the vision and big opportunities we’ve determined create greater urgency to move our individuals and organization towards an action and next steps?
Remember, it is not just in thinking about what shifts and changes will come in the future…
It is also in considering what stays the same?
In many ways we have to move from thinking about the future, to thinking for the future. We must learn how to become much more proactive in how we frame, forecast, chart and design our way forward into this unknown and uncertain future.
As Steve Case shares in his book The Third Wave, “It starts with developing a point of view – a hypothesis that the world is changing. Just the simple act of a CEO embracing and articulating such a world view is critical. It’s a way of delegating a mix of paranoia and curiosity, making people a little nervous and getting them out of their comfort zones. It’s also a way of expressing optimism, rather than dread, about the future – which naturally gets employees to pay more regular focused attention to what is happening around the edges of your industry, with an eye toward what may happen next.”
Too often, we lack any type of point of view for the future. We might have a vision. We might even have determined the big opportunity in front of us. But we haven’t truly created an idea or “point of view” on how we plan on approaching the future.
We see it as far off star that is not necessary for us to worry about in the present. We fail to see the necessity and urgency to begin designing our systems, organizations and individuals on how to proactively meet and move into the future in a much more relevant and effective manner.
Which may be just what we need…
To begin to determine what our individual and organizational “point of view” for the future is before it’s too late. Before it upon us. Especially as the pace and speed of change in today’s world continues to rev up and accelerate at an often unfathomable rate.
Or as Steve Case puts forth in The Third Wave, “Incumbents often fail because they underestimate the speed at which the future is approaching.” Or as he adds, “Objects in the mirror are closer – far closer – than they appear.”