It all starts with us
The struggle to get foresight accepted begins with individuals, not organisations. With each of us understanding our worldviews that construct our thinking about what is real, how that reality has been constructed, our values, about what knowledge we think is true and what we think is false.
I'm not sure where this post is going to lead, since the trigger for it came from reading another newsletter this morning about changing the patterned stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the world and then checking out a link about strategic narratives. Both newsletters focus on helping organisations thrive in the present. That is important.
While reading both, a thought emerged: this thinking is all about growth and making profits (the standard, embedded, accepted narrative in most economies today) and by association, employ a short-term thinking time frame. The work of the two people is wonderful which is why I follow them, but I realised that even when the word 'future' is used, it is defined by today's stories. There is no long-term perspective informing thinking and decision-making.
Why does a long-term perspective matter? Because it helps us open up our thinking, expand our time horizons and challenged our patterned stories of the present? And why do that? To find the new, the novel, the different in a cognitive space where the unthinkable becomes thinkable and the impossible becomes possible. And find new stories, new narratives that will help us change our actions and decisions in the present.
Why does reframing out thinking about the present matter? Our futures wait for us to find them today, to explore them, to identify not the right future but rather the aspects of possible futures that we want to make happen to ensure our organisations are sustainable into the present ( think Kodak, Nokia, Borders, Blockbuster here) and into whatever future emerges.
And sustainable not only for organisations but our societies and most importantly our planet. And yes, there are sustainabiltity strategies everywhere now but again these usually are based on our 'presentist' thinking and stories rather than a commitment to future generations or because we accept we have to be a good ancestor.