22 Jul, 2018

Your Company’s Future NOW

If you are a leader in business, you will be only too familiar with the challenges to have a clear and tangible view of where you are going.

Sure, you will have made sure you have a mission and a vision and a strategy – values too, if you are a good organisation – but how do you turn those posters on the wall into something which your people really buy into?

How do you get everyone heading in the same direction?

In the UK, organisations today invest millions in engagement projects and other big initiatives to create a better future for themselves. But here’s a shocking fact.

Only around 25% of them will ever be completed. 

Never mind whether they meet their objectives or not – the vast majority of them get started but then fizzle out (either because it gets too hard or because some other initiative comes along to distract everyone).

So is it any wonder that, when you launch a programme, the teams who are impacted seem less than excited. From their perspective the conversations going on inside them will be:

“Here we go again…”

“Same old, same old…”

“The management say they are committed but its just lip service”

And then they do the minimum required to get by without getting into trouble.

Add to that the human condition known as Psychological Reactance which, translates into “Don’t tell me what to do!” We all have this – I’m sure you remember, as a kid, being told to tidy your room and really not wanting to do it. That reaction remains into adulthood and shows up in business. There is a rebel in all of us.

Rebel work

So how do you get people from where they are to where you need them to be? How do you get them fired up about the future aims of the company and committed to help you all get there?

People need to see where they fit within any future vision. They need to see what’s in it for them and to believe that the future will be better than the present. They need to really connect with what it is going to be like when you get there.


Make your vision visual!

The brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. If you imagine yourself on a beach, you’ll feel just as chilled and relaxed as if you were really there (more probably, since you won’t have to fend off greedy seagulls and squabbling kids!).

So, you need to create a vision of your future which is so visually powerful that everyone can put themselves into the picture and see their role clearly and with enthusiasm.

Here are 4 steps for you to create a compelling vision

  1. Watch this TedX presentation from Patti Dobrowolski
  2. Get some coloured paper and pens and draw, (on the left-hand side) your current reality – focus on what is good as well as bad. You can focus just on work, or one some aspect of your personal life, or do it all together. Make it colourful but don’t get hung up on it being fine art. Stick figures are fine) 
  3. On the right-hand side, draw the future vision. What will it feel like? Who will be there? What will people be saying? 
  4. Looking from the current state to the future vision, what three bold steps will take you from where you are to where you want to be? 

This is something you can do with your team too. It is a great way to understand where you are all coming from and what your aspirations are for the future of your organisation.


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