Sowing the Seeds of Hope

Today, we are clearly in a place of great uncertainty. Although this is often the case, since Brexit, it is suddenly very apparent to everyone that no one knows what is going to happen next. There are, however, things that you, as a leader, can do to manage the uncertainty and to help identify what you can and can’t control going forward. There is one thing that is clear to me, hope – and a vision of a positive future – is needed. And this is the responsibility of everyone in a leadership role (even if you are leading only yourself).

Managing uncertainty is something that we all do, although most of the time, we are unaware of it.  For instance, you take a train and will usually consider what to do if there are delays – you create a plan B.  In business, you consider all angles of what is facing you, by constructing a set of potential futures based upon trends that you see emerging.  You explore how things might play out, and then you make plans (A, B, and C) for the different possible futures which may unfold. You then implement those plans; foresight won’t help you without action.

From that range of potential, plausible futures that you identify, find a preferred future, the one you like best and where you see the biggest advantages. You figure out what you can influence to make that future unfold (as opposed to any other).  Sharing this preferred future and what needs doing to get there is what leaders do when sharing a vision.

From reading the press and social media streams, there hasn’t been much of a positive future vision shared (if any) regarding Brexit, both before and after the referendum. Perhaps now is the time to start exploring different potential futures going forward – even if only in the short term – and choosing (and sharing widely) one that gives you and your team the most hope.

Strategic foresight is not about prediction; it is about exploring a range of different futures so that you are prepared when any one of them unfolds. By doing the preparation work and strengthening your foresight muscles, you are prepared to act quickly and proactively when you notice a different future emerging, to the one that you have already considered unfolding. You can meet the future with an existing, well thought through plan; a positive vision and hope.

Although this may well sound like a big investment which has you envisioning a full blown scenario planning exercise, it can be much easier and quicker than you think. While it will take reflection time, there are many tools to help you get started that needn’t take as much time and will enable you to identify a preferred future and start building hope. We have many tools that can help you, from those that explore the impact of a particular trend to some that enable you to look across several timelines (short, medium and long term) from today and extrapolate what could happen.

Let’s together work towards a positive future and allow us to help you sow and grow some hope.

 

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