We’re less than 3 weeks out from the election. Have you spent any time analyzing what a President Trump could mean for your organization?
This is a provacative question, but I am not trying to be political and I am not making a forecast. It’s a test. I pose this question so you can confront a hard truth about how well you prepare for the future. This election represents a common scenario I’ve seen play out. Many smart people do dumb things when it comes to strategic planning, like ignoring possible future scenarios that are difficult for them to deal with personally. People get uncomfortable planning for a future they don’t want to see, so they don’t plan and hope for the best.
“Hope for the Best”
Scary how often we hear that phrase, isn’t it? What’s worse is that we hear it from people that are supposed to be in charge.
Again, this is not meant to be a political blog post. But I am saying that many people have entirely written off the possibility that Donald Trump could win and have decided not to even plan for such a scenario.
However, this is not unusual behavior. I speak to many business leaders who are reactive instead of proactive. The excuse I hear most often is “I’m too busy dealing with the present to think about the future.” What I really hear is “I’m afraid of the future.”
“I’m afraid of the future.”
Fear can be a great motivator when harnessed in the right way. Dale Carnegie famously said “If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
So put aside a few hours to really think about what the results of this election could mean to your business depending on who wins the election. Write down some concrete actions you’ll want to take. And then find more time to think about all the other trends and issues you’ve been avoiding. I’m here to help.
Imagine a surfer atop his board, rising above the wave. He is being propelled forward by powerful forces. However, he doesn’t resist or fight back against the wave. He knows that’s impossible. Instead, he embraces the wave to maintain control of his board and uses the force of the wave to move himself in a particular direction.
Leaders often find themselves unwillingly pushed by strong forces around them – from changing workforce demographics to shifting consumer behaviors to disruptive technologies – but great leaders don’t fight the disruption, they embrace it.
Great leaders, like great surfers, know how to harness powerful waves and pivot in the direction that they want and need to go. Great leaders can spot the waves of disruption coming, and ride them to success… or bail out before they hit.
How can one learn to see and ride these waves? By applying foresight to everyday challenges.
Explore the Future – The pace of change today is relentless, which is why leaders need the ability to track, identify, and understand the changing social, business, and technological landscape. Scanning for trends is the first step in the process. And it’s critical to understand not just what is happening, but also why they are happening, looking at the underlying drivers such as shifts in consumer values and attitudes.
Map the Future – When meteorologists project the path of a hurricane, they don’t draw a straight line, they draw a funnel to show where the storm could go. Likewise, it’s impossible to predict the future, but we can map potential futures. The value of mapping the future is to see what’s possible, and plausible, and to spot emerging challenges and opportunities.
Create the Future – With a roadmap in hand, it’s now possible to decide which future is preferable, and what course of action to take that will get us there.
However, riding the wave is easier said than done.
This is why we’ve created The Futures School, a unique, immersive and hands-on 3-day program that has taught leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs from 23 countries the tools needed to successfully EXPLORE, MAP, and CREATE the future.