Driving into the future using only our rear-view mirror
Thriving in complex environments takes new ways of making sense of situations. The patterns of the past do not apply.
Often, our first instinct is to project onto a situation an opinion, a ‘probable cause’…perfectly natural, as our evolutionary hardware (the brain), tends to look for linear cause and effect relationships.
We use rich data from the past…to determine a pattern…upon which we predict the future…in order, to act.
As Marshall McLuhan quipped “we drive into the future using only our rear-view mirror.” It served us well when the pace of change was relatively slow and new ideas and technologies took years to develop.
However, building insight, setting strategy and making decisions in complex environments is different.
In complexity, the context changes everything. What works in one place may not work in another. It is unpredictable. Our attention shifts from what is ‘probable’ to what is ‘possible’. It is the domain of the VUCA world.
‘Fit for the emerging Future’
Our personal and organizational well-being (staying relevant in a changing world), depends upon agility, innovation and engagement. Agility…to pivot, as needed; Innovation…to continuously seek new sources of value creation; and, Engagement…to build greater organizational and community value with clients, stakeholders and staff.
Becoming Fit for the emerging Future
We deliver our services through Transforming Business (Challenges, Insight and Strategy; Developing Leaders (‘Fit for the emerging Future’ program, Leadership coaching and Listening training), and Growing Fit for the emerging Future (Workshops and training in Competencies, Experimentation and Innovation).
When all around us is moving and shifting we need to root ourselves and our organizations in our purpose.
Connecting people, leaders and organizations to their purpose, in the service of making a difference in the world, is important to us.
Adhocracy (Of Purpose), as a management model, is well suited to a VUCA world in which action is privileged, activities are coordinated around challenges and opportunities, people are motivated by intrinsic rewards (recognition and achievement of purpose), and strategic decisions are made through experimentation and the power of what works.