Last week I posted the first five of my top ten takeaways from The Future School’s “Transformations of Natural Foresight” retreat. If you missed it, you can find that article here.
As I mentioned in that article, the overarching theme is designing a better future. That starts with understanding how our actions today are shaping the future and doing our best to balance short-term objectives with the most desirable long-term outcomes. My hope is that sharing these key takeaways will pique your interest, spark your imagination, and inspire thinking toward the future so that together we can collectively grow and evolve.
With that said, here is the second half of my top ten list.
6. Full awareness takes courage.
Accepting and embracing reality can be difficult, especially when things aren’t going how we hoped. So, it takes courage to search for the truth knowing we may not like what we find. But in keeping our eyes open to see what is actually happening, we’re better positioned to identify solutions and take action. We might even be pleasantly surprised to find our situation is better than expected, or that there are unforeseen opportunities. The key is having the strength and willingness to establish what is true today, no matter what that truth might be.
7. Vulnerability is a virtue.
None of us has all the answers all the time. And more importantly, nobody expects us to. By remaining teachable and open to new ideas, we accelerate collective growth and evolution. This often requires a sense of vulnerability because we’re acknowledging our own limitations. We’re asking for guidance and support. We’re moving outside the comfort zone of what we know to acquire things that are new. With that, in addition to our growth and development, we’re showing others that vulnerability is a virtue. And that’s an act of bold leadership.
8. Lasting change is purpose-driven.
There are many quotes and sayings about the importance of addressing the cause rather than the symptoms. That’s because it’s a powerful concept applicable in both business and life. Rather than reacting to circumstances and making short-term adjustments, we’re better served identifying and shifting focus to the root issue. When our efforts are directed toward a higher-level purpose, one that extends beyond the here-and-now, then we can create strategies that produce lasting change.
9. Transformation happens by choice.
Change is inevitable and new information is constantly emerging. Both of those things are true regardless of what we think, feel, and do. So, we can either see the unpredictable and uncertain nature of our surroundings as a challenge or an opportunity. What we think, feel, and do amidst change and with new information will determine our futures. We can choose to approach them as challenges needing to be overcome. Or we can choose to view them as assets and opportunities along our path to transformation.
10. Every voice matters.
As a boutique customer insights firm, this is a rally cry for us at MacKenzie. From top-to-bottom and side-to-side, every voice matters. The foundation of this belief is that we live in a collaborative universe. There are relatively few objective truths because our individual realities are shaped by our individual experiences, perceptions and perspectives. When our collective realities are combined, we have a richer and fuller understanding of the world around us. So, everyone deserves as seat at the table because each of us has something valuable to contribute.
One of my favorite parts about The Futures School and strategic foresight is how it challenges me to think differently. They’ve led me to enjoy questioning my own assumptions and seeking alternative perspectives. So, I’d love to hear any thoughts, ideas, or opinions that came to mind as you read these takeaways.
Together, I truly believe we can design a better future. And the more we discuss how to make that happen, the closer we get to actually making it happen.