In an era in which torrents of data are coming at you from all directions, it’s hard to step back, pause, and have clarity on the future - because the future is an hour from now, and whatever happened three minutes ago is already old news. That’s why those who can imagine what’s coming have a tremendous advantage over their competition; they can also imagine how they might deal with that future, and what actions they can take in the present that could change it.
Granted, Futuring is tough - but what makes it tough also makes it invaluable, because it trains our adult brains to freely imagine again, as most of us have not since childhood. Not to set a goal, not to transact, not to check off a task, not to listen, not to collaborate - not to do any of those things that we do on a daily basis so we can show up at our day jobs and run our companies. Transactional thinking promises that if I show up as an adult, with all the requisite skills and knowledge for leadership, I move up the ladder. If I’m a newly minted CEO at Company A, I’m already looking forward to my jump to Company B in two years, and I live or die by quarterly earnings reports, so it behooves me to stay grounded in short-term thinking. But that’s not where innovation lives – in fact, it’s where it goes to die. And if you’re a leader in any industry, short-term thinking will eventually leave you rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
If you’ve considered adding Futuring to your toolkit, you may have been put off by the way it’s been done up to now, requiring weeks or even months of time. So how do we manage to get our clients into and through a productive, enlightening Futuring in just a few days?
We’ll dig into this in depth in subsequent blogs, but here’s the short version: Very often Futuring is broad and, by design, divergent in its focus. Drilling down to specific, meaningful, actionable steps that will shape your market and your space going forward can take a while. In contrast, our process gets very granular quickly, identifying specific drivers shaping the market so that you can actively monitor for them, spot them when they show up, and take action.
That last piece is mission critical, and too often neglected. If you’re not actively tracking those drivers, your Futuring was a waste of time and money. Part of our Futuring practice is helping you to stay accountable long after the actual Futuring is over.