A recent Article builds upon my Strategy post from yesterday. Written by Colin Iles, the article focuses on the need for leaders to set their short term priorities based on expectations about what the world might look like in ten years. Often, leaders feel that ten years is too long a time horizon – but the future is approaching faster than people think. This speed dynamic forces us to embrace a New Way of Thinking, one that enables us to see the future, rehearse it, and adapt to its inevitable shifts.
The article explores something John Hagel speaks to frequently: a need to zoom out ten years to envision what the world might look like, and then zooming in to leverage the building blocks that increase the probability of a longer term future. The article uses a very early version of my Anchor Visual. That visual forms the foundation of a Future Thinking Canvas that enables an effective approach to zooming out. Given the number of building blocks emerging in our exponential world, seeing the Convergence is critical.
With a view into possible futures, leaders can discuss what actions to take today to prepare for these possible futures. The complexity, uncertainty, and pace of our world makes the zooming out function difficult – but even more necessary. The current pandemic highlights this point. The view of Possible Futures prior to the pandemic likely looks very different today. These extreme events are likely to occur with more frequency. As described in my post yesterday, unless we as humans can Unlearn, we are trapped in a way of thinking that undermines our ability to succeed. That applies to strategy as well. It is not a yearly process, a 3-year plan, or a static document. It is an iterative, relentless effort to learn, unlearn, rehearse, and prepare for the future.