When only you see the future

by John Mahaffie on February 28, 2017

You are intuitive, a trend-spotter, comfortable with conjecture, ready to explore something uncertain–the future. Right?

Other people you have to deal with are fact-minded, narrowly-focused, prefer what is knowable, and are focused on what they are doing right now. Sound familiar? Because you are talking about the future, maybe they think you are crazy and "just make things up."

So now you've got a problem. They don't get what you're saying or doing, or don't believe in it, or they fear it.

What can you do?

Knowing this problem exists is a big part of coping. It's not sufficient, nor useful to assume others are stupid, or actually tell them they are stupid. It's best to work with their perspectives and the reasons for their narrower focus. They are mired in the present, and not practiced at thinking about things that haven't yet happened.

Your goal should be to help people raise their eyes up to a further horizon, to open their thinking. Show them some new ways to understand things. Find ways to bring ideas about the future alive for them in images and words. Tell stories about what could be, but make sure they are vivid and show the changes that matter. Much of the work of helping people explore the future is simply doing this.

Scenarios are a great tool to use. See: Why we need scenarios to be ready for the future and much more at the tag "Scenarios".

I can help you! Let me know if you'd like to hear more, or if I can help build a program for you and your organization. Email Me or call 202-271-0444.

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