Sunday, December 2, 2007

Long term thinking

I strongly believe in futures methods, the methods futurists use. More, I believe these methods can help individuals acquire the ability to think long term. I also believe that long term thinkers take responsibility—in their lives and in their careers. They also make good leaders.
Last Spring, Jeff Gold (Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University School of Business and Law) and I presented a paper on Personal Futures at the AHRD (Academy of Human Resources Development) convention in Indianapolis. Our approach dealt with using Personal Futures concepts in helping employees develop career paths. We were surprised. Very.
After our presentation, we were each approached at different times by individuals who liked our concepts, but thought we should direct our approach toward executive education and development. Teaching long term thinking and long-term perspectives to people who would become leaders in different areas of their organizations. This caught both of us by surprise.
But it makes sense. The ability to think many years ahead is an important leadership skill. Much like chess. Leaders and chess players need to know where they are going and what moves they must make to get them there.
Of course the same applies in our personal lives. And our children’s lives. Looking ahead. Planning the moves that we must make to take us to our vision of the future.
And there is a word that futurists use a lot…Vision. Organizations spend a lot of time thinking about their vision of the future. Executives attend multi-day seminars or workshops on how to develop-create-design a vision of their organization’s future. As individuals, we can also benefit from a little time thinking about our future. Developing a vision.
And it’s not hard. The next addition to this blog (approximately next week) will be about creating a vision of your future. A vision of where you want your life to be ten years from now. In detail..

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